Pronunciation: (fish),[key] —n., pl.(esp. collectively)fish,(esp. referring to two or more kinds or species)fish•es, —v.
—n. 1. any of various cold-blooded, aquatic vertebrates, having gills, commonly fins, and typically an elongated body covered with scales.
2. (loosely) any of various other aquatic animals.
3. the flesh of fishes used as food.
4. Fishes,Astron.,Astrol.the constellation or sign of Pisces.
5. Informal.a person: an odd fish; a poor fish. 6. a long strip of wood, iron, etc., used to strengthen a mast, joint, etc.
7. Cards Slang.an incompetent player whose incompetence can be exploited.
8. Slang.a dollar: He sold the car for 500 fish. 9. Slang.a new prison inmate.
10. drink like a fish, to drink alcoholic beverages to excess: Nobody invites him out because he drinks like a fish. 11. fish out of water, a person out of his or her proper or accustomed environment: He felt like a fish out of water in an academic atmosphere. 12. neither fish nor fowl, having no specific character or conviction; neither one nor the other.
13. other fish to fry, other matters requiring attention: When it was time to act, they had other fish to fry.
—v.t. 1. to catch or attempt to catch (any species of fish or the like).
2. to try to catch fish in (a stream, lake, etc.): Let's fish the creek. 3. to draw, as by fishing (often fol. by up or out): He fished a coin out of his pocket for the boy. 4. to search through, as by fishing.
5. Naut. a. to secure (an anchor) by raising the flukes.
b. to reinforce (a mast or other spar) by fastening a spar, batten, metal bar, or the like, lengthwise over a weak place.
—v.i. 1. to catch or attempt to catch fish, as by angling or drawing a net.
2. to search carefully: He fished through all his pockets but his wallet was gone. 3. to seek to obtain something indirectly or by artifice: to fish for compliments; to fish for information. 4. to search for or attempt to catch onto something under water, in mud, etc., by the use of a dredge, rake, hook, or the like.
5. to attempt to recover detached tools or other loose objects from an oil or gas well.
6. fish in troubled waters, to take advantage of troubled or uncertain conditions for personal profit.
7. fish or cut bait, to choose a definite course of action, esp. to decide whether to participate in or retreat from an activity.
8. fish out, to deplete (a lake, stream, etc.) of fish by fishing.
Pronunciation: (fish),[key] —n. Hamilton, 1808–93, U.S. statesman: secretary of state 1869–77.