from The American HeritageĀ® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various small sharks, chiefly of the family Squalidae, of Atlantic and Pacific coastal waters. Also called grayfish.
  • n. See bowfin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various small sharks, especially those from the families Scyliorhinidae, Dalatiidae, and Squalidae.
  • n. The bowfin, Amia calva.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small shark, of many species, of the genera Mustelus, Scyllium, Spinax, etc.
  • n. The bowfin (Amia calva). See Bowfin.
  • n. The burbot of Lake Erie.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A name of various selachians and fishes belonging to widely distinct families.
  • n. A name of the menobranchus or mud-puppy, Necturus maculatus, a batrachian reptile.
  • n.

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

  • n. primitive long-bodied carnivorous freshwater fish with a very long dorsal fin; found in sluggish waters of North America
  • n. any of several small sharks


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From dog + fish.



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  • Bowfins are an order (Amiiformes) of primitive ray-finned fish. Only one species, the bowfin Amia calva, family Amiidae, exists today, although additional species in six families are known from Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Eocene fossils. These included the huge Leedsichthys, the biggest fish that ever existed. The bowfin and the gar are two of the freshwater fishes still extant that existed, almost unchanged from their current form, while the great dinosaurs roamed the earth.


    I used to catch a bowfin that locals called a dogfish when I lived in Minnesota.

    February 4, 2008