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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Lamprey \Lam"prey\ (l[a^]m"pr[y^]), n.; pl. Lampreys (l[a^]m"pr[i^]z). [OE. lampreie, F. lamproie, LL. lampreda, lampetra, from L. lambere to lick + petra rock, stone. The lampreys are so called because they attach themselves with their circular mouths to rocks and stones, whence they are also called rocksuckers. See Lap to drink, Petrify.] (Zo["o]l.) An eel-like marsipobranch of the genus Petromyzon, and allied genera; called also lamprey eel and lamper eel. The lampreys have a round, sucking mouth, without jaws, but set with numerous minute teeth, and one to three larger teeth on the palate (see Illust. of Cyclostomi). There are seven small branchial openings on each side. [Written also lamprel, and lampron.]

Note: The common or sea lamprey of America and Europe ( Petromyzon marinus), which in spring ascends rivers to spawn, is considered excellent food by many, and is sold as a market fish in some localities. The smaller river lampreys mostly belong to the genus Ammoc[oe]les, or Lampetra, as Ammoc[oe]les fluviatilis, of Europe, and Ammoc[oe]les [ae]pypterus of America. All lampreys attach themselves to other fishes, as parasites, by means of the suckerlike mouth.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1300 (c.1200 as a surname?), from Old French lamproie, from Medieval Latin lampreda, from Late Latin lampetra "lamprey," of uncertain origin, usually explained as literally "lick-rock," from Latin lambere "to lick" (see lap (v.1)) + petra "rock" (see petrous). The animals attach themselves to things with their sucker-like mouths.


n. Any long slender primitive eel-like freshwater and saltwater fish of the Petromyzontidae family, having a sucking mouth with rasping teeth but no jaw.


n. primitive eellike freshwater or anadromous cyclostome having round sucking mouth with a rasping tongue [syn: lamprey eel, lamper eel]

Lamprey (comics)

Lamprey (Donald McGuiggin) is a fictional character fappearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character appeared in the original Squadron Supreme series. He was initially created as a pastiche of the DC Comics supervillain, the Parasite.

Lamprey (disambiguation)

A lamprey is a parasitic aquatic vertebrate with a toothed, funnel-like sucking mouth.

Lamprey may refer to:

  • Lamprey (surname)
  • Lamprey River, a river in southeastern New Hampshire, U.S.
  • Lamprey (comics), a character from Marvel Comics' original Squadron Supreme series
  • Lamprey (G.I. Joe), a set of fictional characters in the G.I. Joe universe
  • Lamprey (album), an album by Bettie Serveert
  • USS Lamprey (SS-372), a Balao-class submarine of the United States Navy
  • Lamprey, a Beast General character in Shadow Raiders
  • Lamprey, a character in A Trick to Catch the Old One
  • Lamprey railway station in Lamprey, Manitoba, Canada
Lamprey (album)

Lamprey was the second album by the Dutch indie band Bettie Serveert, released in 1995.


Lampreys (sometimes also called, inaccurately, lamprey eels) are any jawless fish of the order Petromyzontiformes, placed in the superclass Cyclostomata. The adult lamprey may be characterized by a toothed, funnel-like sucking mouth. The common name "lamprey" is probably derived from Latinlampetra, which may mean "stone licker" ( lambere "to lick" + petra "stone"), though the etymology is uncertain.

Currently there are about 38 known extant species of lampreys. Although they are well known for boring into the flesh of other fish to suck their blood, only 18 species of lampreys are actually parasitic. The lampreys are a very ancient lineage of vertebrates, though their exact relationship to hagfishes and jawed vertebrates is still a matter of dispute.

Lamprey (surname)

Lamprey is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

  • Zane Lamprey (born 1976), comedian, actor, editor, producer, and writer
  • Hugh Lamprey (1928–1996), British ecologist and bush pilot
  • Teresa Lamprey, one of the directors of Brazilian soap opera Viver a Vida

Usage examples of "lamprey".

College Avenue the pedestrian traffic was heaviest: whiskered Phish in tie-dye and dreadlocks, Birkenstocked Liliths with their goateed lampreys.

The latter, faithful to the principle of Horace, nil admirari, had contented himself with showing his knowledge by declaring in what lake the best lampreys were caught.

As it was, he would have had to partake of thirty pair of such dishes as roast capons and partridges, civet of hare, meat and fish aspics, lark pasties and rissoles of beef marrow, black puddings and sausages, lampreys and savory rice, entremet of swan, peacock, bitterns, and heron “borne on high,” pasties of venison and small birds, fresh and salt-water fish with a gravy of shad “the color of peach blossom,” white leeks with plovers, duck with roast chitterlings, stuffed pigs, eels reversed, frizzled beans-finishing off with fruit wafers, pears, comfits, medlars, peeled nuts, and spiced wine.

They, in turn, were still getting information from forward deployed sensors and surviving personnel and he could see the first wave of the Posleen pouring into the Gap, with the Lampreys and C-Decs backstopping them.

There's a safety margin built into the Lamprey, so it's prob- ably no big whoop, except for the lame ballast tank.

This time, though, the smaller Lamprey was effectively killed by the kinetic energy of the depleted uranium warhead passing through its engine-room.

The rumor mill spat out the names of famous clients: movie stars, assorted film industry lampreys, politicians, developers.

A freshly painted jetway gropes out like a giant lamprey and slaps its neoprene lips onto the side of the plane.

Reminded by the shape of some of the tokens, he thought of Sophie's fish, silently withdrew, and made his way along the busy High Street, past the George, to Holland's, where he bought a couple of fine plump lampreys (his favourite dish) and the dabs: these he carried with him down to the Hard, where the Mentor's crew, just paid off, were bawling and hallooing round a bonfire, together with a growing crowd of the thick, powerful young women known as brutes and a large number of pimps, idle apprentices, and pickpockets.

I thought of the fresh marks I had seen on the undersides of the hammerhead sharks in the great tank, marks made by no parasite for Haggopian had returned his lampreys to the sea all of three years earlier.

For those, like Guanamarioch's oolt, resuscitated early and made to wait, this was pure murder, literally, as bored and sometimes hungry normals fought with each other in the cramped hold of a Lamprey.

Maggie saw lamprey wriggle in the lime-green light, herds of sea horses flit here and there all of one mind, toppled columns of a sunken palace, the sleek immensity of a whale passing a hundred yards overhead.

Is the Sea Lamprey in any shape to use on a real- life rescue operation?

In the past only foot-long sea lampreys, the scourge of the local white-fish and trout, forced mutation had turned them into mindless, ravening colossi, capable of overwhelming a small boat.

Never a thought about our toes and vi- cious sea turtles or giant sea lampreys come into the tidewater.