flounder


flounder
flounder1
flounderingly, adv.
/flown"deuhr/, v.i.
1. to struggle with stumbling or plunging movements (usually fol. by about, along, on, through, etc.): He saw the child floundering about in the water.
2. to struggle clumsily or helplessly: He floundered helplessly on the first day of his new job.
[1570-80; perh. b. FLOUNCE1 and FOUNDER2]
Syn. 2. falter, waver, muddle.
flounder2
/flown"deuhr/, n., pl. (esp. collectively) flounder, (esp. referring to two or more kinds or species) flounders.
1. a European, marine flatfish, Platichthys flesus, used for food.
2. any of numerous similar or closely related non-European flatfishes.
3. any flatfish other than soles.
[1400-50; late ME < AF floundre < Scand; cf. Norw flundra]

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Any of about 300 species of flatfishes (order Pleuronectiformes).

When born, the flounder is bilaterally symmetrical, with an eye on each side, and it swims near the sea's surface. After a few days, it begins to lean to one side, and the eye on that side migrates to what eventually becomes the top side. With this development comes changes in bones, nerves, and muscles, and the underside loses its colour. As an adult, the flounder lives on the sea bottom with the eyed side on top.

Flounder (Platichthys)

F. Greenaway
Natural History Photographic Agency/EB Inc.

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fish
 any of numerous species of flatfishes belonging to the families Achiropsettidae, Pleuronectidae, Paralichthyidae, and Bothidae (order Pleuronectiformes). The flounder is morphogenetically unusual. When born it is bilaterally symmetrical, with an eye on each side, and it swims near the surface of the sea. After a few days, however, it begins to lean to one side, and the eye on that side begins to migrate to what eventually becomes the top side of the fish. With this development a number of other complex changes in bones, nerves, and muscles occur, and the underside of the flounder loses its colour. As an adult the fish lives on the bottom, with the eyed side uppermost.

      Included among the approximately 100 species of the family Pleuronectidae are the European flounder (Platichthys flesus), a marine and freshwater food and sport fish of Europe that grows to a length of 50 cm (20 inches) and weight of 2.7 kg (6 pounds); the starry flounder (Platichthys stellatus), a North Pacific species that averages about 9 kg (20 pounds) in weight; and the winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus), an American Atlantic food fish, growing to about 60 cm (23 inches) in length. Flounders in this family typically have the eyes and colouring on the right side.

      In the families Bothidae and Paralichthyidae, which together contain more than 240 species, the better-known flounders include the summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus), an American Atlantic food fish growing to about 90 cm (35 inches); the peacock flounder (Bothus lunatus), a tropical American Atlantic species attractively marked with many pale blue spots and rings; and the brill (Scophthalmus rhombus), a relatively large commercial European species, reaching a length of 75 cm (29 inches). Flounders in these families typically have eyes and colouring on the left side. See also flatfish.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:
(as an animal in the mire), , , , , , , , (Pleuronectes or Platessa flesus)


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • flounder — flounder1 [floun′dər] vi. [earlier flunder, ? blend of BLUNDER + FOUNDER1] 1. to struggle awkwardly to move, as in deep mud or snow; plunge about in a stumbling manner 2. to speak or act in an awkward, confused manner, with hesitation and… …   English World dictionary

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