from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One that moves suddenly and rapidly.
  • noun Any of various small North American freshwater fishes of the family Percidae, chiefly of the genera Ammocrypta, Etheostoma, and Percina, and sometimes brightly colored.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun One who throws a dart.
  • noun One who or that which springs or darts forward.
  • noun In zoology: In ichth.: The archer-fish, Toxotes jaculator. One of the freshwater fishes of the United States constituting the subfamily Etheostominœ of the family Percidœ.
  • noun A fresh-water fish of the genus Uranidea and family Cottidœ: In ornith.: A bird of the genus Plotus and family Plotidœ..

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One who darts, or who throw darts; that which darts.
  • noun (Zoöl.) The snakebird, a water bird of the genus Plotus; -- so called because it darts out its long, snakelike neck at its prey. See Snakebird.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A small fresh-water etheostomoid fish. The group includes numerous genera and species, all of them American. See Etheostomoid.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A waterbird with a long neck in the family Anhingidae.
  • noun Any of various darting freshwater fish of the family Percidae, that are usually small and brightly coloured and are native to North America.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a person or other animal that moves abruptly and rapidly
  • noun fish-eating bird of warm inland waters having a long flexible neck and slender sharp-pointed bill


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word darter.


  • The diamond darter is a close relative of the crystal darter (Crystallaria asprella), a small fish found in the drainage basins of the Mississippi River.

    Archive 2008-05-01 2008

  • Hollin and his darter was a-fixin 'away, sorter like they was glad, but uvry now and then John kep' flingin 'out some uv his slang at' um 'fur fixin' so much fur them crippled creeturs, that had 'bout as much business a-marryin 'as two' possums. '

    Fisher's River (North Carolina) Scenes and Characters 1859

  • EPA biologists also found the variegate darter, which is common in Ohio but was last seen in Walnut Creek (also known as Little Walnut Creek) in 1955. RSS 2009

  • The fish are the spotted darter, which is endangered, and the Tippecanoe and bluebreast darters, which are threatened. RSS 2009

  • I would bet my best gun that there is a real hunter right behind the "darter" with a real gun.

    Why Darting Isn't Hunting 2006

  • Dolorez called, "Hello, girls," as she swung her car out again in the dusty roadway, and the "darter" deprived that little woman of her coveted information.

    Jane Allen, Junior Edith Bancroft

  • But that night the boasted style in which their "darter" lived was less appreciated than formerly: fashion and splendor were no longer a consolation.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 96, October 1865 Various

  • Cress, you mout hev had YOURS, and that fool Dabney mout hev had HIS; but it warn't the old woman's -- nor Cressy's -- it warn't Blair Rawlins 'darter's idea -- nor yet HER darter's!

    Cressy Bret Harte 1869

  • He was so fatherly to the young people that the girls in the Bee Hive, or the White Front, or the Racket Store used to brush his clothes when they needed it, if we in the office neglected him, and smooth his back hair with their pocket combs, and he -- never remembering the name of the particular ministering angel who fixed him up -- called one and all of them "darter," smiled a grateful smile like an old dog that is petted, and then went his way.

    In Our Town William Allen White 1906

  • "darter," and everyone who knew Dol knew, also, that these little attentions must have been rather costly to the country folks, for

    Jane Allen, Junior Edith Bancroft


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Also known as anhinga.

    December 5, 2007