noun, plural lam·preys.
- any eellike marine or freshwater fish of the order Petromyzoniformes, having a circular, suctorial mouth with horny teeth for boring into the flesh of other fishes to feed on their blood.
- any eel-like cyclostome vertebrate of the family Petromyzonidae, having a round sucking mouth for clinging to and feeding on the blood of other animalsAlso called: lamper eel See also sea lamprey
n.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.