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

  • n. Any of several marine fishes of the family Trachinidae, having venomous spines on the gill cover and first dorsal fin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of the usually brown fish in Trachinidae, who catch prey by burying themselves in the sand and snatching them as they go past.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any one of several species of edible marine fishes belonging to the genus Trachinus, of the family Trachinidæ. They have a broad spinose head, with the eyes looking upward. The long dorsal fin is supported by numerous strong, sharp spines which cause painful wounds.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as weaver-bird.
  • n. Either one of two British fishes of the genus Trachinus, the greater, T. draco, 10 or 12 inches long, and the lesser, T. vipera, of half this length; hence, any member of the Tra-chinidæ (which see).


Old North French wivre, serpent, weever; see wyvern.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French/Old Northern French wivre ("serpent"), from Latin vīpera. See also wyvern. (Wiktionary)


  • • A chiropodist quoted about his encounter with the poisonous dorsal fin of a weever fish described the experience as being "bitten".

    Corrections and clarifications

  • "It's a good idea to check with coastguards about which beaches are particularly affected by weever fish," he says.

    The inside track ... on paddling

  • If you think you have been bitten, examine the wound, he says: "A weever fish bite leaves two little puncture holes, like an adder bite."

    The inside track ... on paddling

  • The weever fish is one of the most poisonous in the UK.

    The inside track ... on paddling

  • Beaumont only sees a couple of cases of weever fish bite among his patients yearly – but you can't be too careful.

    The inside track ... on paddling

  • "A few years ago, I was bitten by a weever fish in shallow water – the pain was excruciating, and I couldn't run for a month afterwards."

    The inside track ... on paddling

  • In 2009 the RNLI rescued 111 animals, while 3,676 people suffered from weever fish or jellyfish stings, 330 had sand in their eyes, 13 had been bitten by a dog and 130 people had a broken or stubbed toe.

    A working life: The lifeboat volunteer


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