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3 definitions found
 for numbfish
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Numbfish \Numb"fish`\, n. (Zool.)
     The torpedo, which numbs by the electric shocks which it
     [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Torpedo \Tor*pe"do\, n.; pl. Torpedoes. [L. torpedo, -inis,
     from torpere to be stiff, numb, or torpid. See Torpid.]
     [1913 Webster]
     1. (Zool.) Any one of numerous species of elasmobranch fishes
        belonging to Torpedo and allied genera. They are related
        to the rays, but have the power of giving electrical
        shocks. Called also crampfish, and numbfish. See
        Electrical fish, under Electrical.
        [1913 Webster]
     Note: The common European torpedo ({Torpedo vulgaris) and
           the American species ({Torpedo occidentalis) are the
           best known.
           [1913 Webster]
     2. An engine or machine for destroying ships by blowing them
        up; a mine[4]. Specifically: 
        [1913 Webster +PJC]
        (a) A quantity of explosives anchored in a channel,
            beneath the water, or set adrift in a current, and so
            designed that they will explode when touched or
            approached by a vessel, or when an electric circuit is
            closed by an operator on shore; now called marine
            mine. [obsolete]
            [1913 Webster +PJC]
                  Damn the torpedoes -- full speed ahead! --Adm.
                                                    David Glasgow
                                                    Farragut (At
                                                    the battle of
                                                    Mobile Bay,
        (b) A kind of small submarine boat carrying an explosive
            charge, and projected from a ship against another ship
            at a distance, or made self-propelling, and otherwise
            automatic in its action against a distant ship.
            [1913 Webster]
     3. (Mil.) A kind of shell or cartridge buried in earth, to be
        exploded by electricity or by stepping on it; now called
        land mine. [obsolete]
        [1913 Webster +PJC]
     4. (Railroad) A kind of detonating cartridge or shell placed
        on a rail, and exploded when crushed under the locomotive
        wheels, -- used as an alarm signal.
        [1913 Webster]
     5. An explosive cartridge or shell lowered or dropped into a
        bored oil well, and there exploded, to clear the well of
        obstructions or to open communication with a source of
        supply of oil.
        [1913 Webster]
     6. A kind of firework in the form of a small ball, or pellet,
        which explodes when thrown upon a hard object.
        [1913 Webster]
     7. An automobile with a torpedo body. [Archaic Cant]
        [Webster 1913 Suppl. +PJC]
     Fish torpedo, a spindle-shaped, or fish-shaped,
        self-propelling submarine torpedo.
     Spar torpedo, a canister or other vessel containing an
        explosive charge, and attached to the end of a long spar
        which projects from a ship or boat and is thrust against
        an enemy's ship, exploding the torpedo.
     Torpedo boat, a vessel adapted for carrying, launching,
        operating, or otherwise making use of, torpedoes against
        an enemy's ship., especially, a small, fast boat with
        tubes for launching torpedoes.
     Torpedo nettings, nettings made of chains or bars, which
        can be suspended around a vessel and allowed to sink
        beneath the surface of the water, as a protection against
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: any sluggish bottom-dwelling ray of the order
           Torpediniformes having a rounded body and electric organs
           on each side of the head capable of emitting strong
           electric discharges [syn: electric ray, crampfish,
           numbfish, torpedo]

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