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Definition of "barbel" [bar•bel]

  • One of the slender, whiskerlike tactile organs extending from the head of certain fishes, such as catfishes. Also called barb1. (noun)
  • Any of several Old World freshwater fish of the genus Barbus, especially B. barbus, having four barbels on its upper jaw. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "barbel" in a sentence
  • "It lacks teeth, lacks the chin barbel, has a non-functional gut, and is dark brown rather than black."
  • "The female sports small eyes, a chin barbel, and long fang-like teeth, which are used for catching its primary food item - other fishes."
  • "A useful aid to hygiene is keeping a few predacious fish, such as barbel (Clarias spp.), in each pool to clean up scraps of uneaten food."