n. pl. lam·preys
Any of various elongated freshwater or anadromous fishes of the family Petromyzontidae, having a jawless sucking mouth with rasping teeth and often attaching to and parasitizing other fish.
[Middle English lamprei, from Old French lampreie, from Medieval Latin lamprēda, perhaps of Gaulish origin.]
(click for a larger image)lamprey
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.