- a threadlike growth from the lips or jaws of certain fishes: it is an organ of touch
- any of a genus (Barbus) of large, European, freshwater cyprinoid fishes with such growths
Origin of barbelMiddle English and Old French from Medieval Latin barbellus from Classical Latin barbula, diminutive of barbus from barba, beard
One of the slender, whiskerlike tactile organs extending from the head of certain fishes, such as catfishes. Also called barb 1.
Origin of barbelObsolete French from Old French from Medieval Latin barbula diminutive of Late Latin barbus beard from Latin barba ; see bhardh-ā- in Indo-European roots.
barbels on a channel catfish
Any of several freshwater cyprinid fishes of the genus Barbus of Eurasia and Africa, especially B. barbus, having four barbels on the upper jaw.
Origin of barbelMiddle English from Old French from Medieval Latin barbellus diminutive of barbus from Latin barba beard ; see barbel 1.
From Old French barbel.