Etymology
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catfish (n.)

also cat-fish, name given to various types of fish, 1610s, probably in reference to the Atlantic wolf-fish, for its ferocity, from cat (n.) + fish (n.). The North American freshwater fish was so called by 1690s, probably for its "whiskers," or for the purring noise it is said to make when taken from the water. Greek had glanis, glaneos "catfish," especially the large European species found in central and eastern regions north of the Alps, based on glanos "hyena" "thus called because of its voracity and the sound it makes" [Beekes]. Compare dogfish.

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Definitions of catfish

catfish (n.)
flesh of scaleless food fish of the southern United States; often farmed;
Synonyms: mudcat
catfish (n.)
large ferocious northern deep-sea food fishes with strong teeth and no pelvic fins;
Synonyms: wolffish / wolf fish
catfish (n.)
any of numerous mostly freshwater bottom-living fishes of Eurasia and North America with barbels like whiskers around the mouth;
Synonyms: siluriform fish
From wordnet.princeton.edu