• WordNet 3.6
    • n filefish narrow flattened warm-water fishes with leathery skin and a long file-like dorsal spine
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Filefish (Zoöl) Any plectognath fish of the genera Monacanthus Alutera balistes, and allied genera; -- so called on account of the roughly granulated skin, which is sometimes used in place of sandpaper.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n filefish Any plectognathous fish of the family Balistidæ: so called from the roughly granular skin. The European species is Balistes capriscus, a common inhabitant of the Mediterranean, and occasionally met with on the southern coasts of England. It grows to the length of 2 feet. B. aculeatus, a native of the Indian and American seas, as well as of the Red Sea, is sometimes 12 or 14 inches long. Another is a monacanthine fish, Alutera schæpfi, with a single dorsal spine, a moderate abdominal flap not extended beyond the pelvic spine, and of a dull-greenish color mottled with a darker hue. It is abundant along the southern coast of the United States.
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