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any of several elongated, predaceous, tropical and subtropical marine fishes of the genus Sphyraena, certain species of which are used for food.
Slang. a treacherous, greedy person.
Contemporary Examples

A barracuda was caught by research scientists near Santa Cruz.
Fishy Mystery: Are Beached Oarfish Trying to Tell Us Something? Kevin Bailey October 22, 2013

Come to think of it, it was more Great White than barracuda.
The All-New Sarah Palin Lloyd Grove November 15, 2009

Historical Examples

The harpoon had taken the barracuda near the tail, fortunately hitting the spine.
The Wailing Octopus Harold Leland Goodwin

They looked like barracuda to me, only they were almost as silvery as a tarpon.
Tales of Fishes Zane Grey

The wounds inflicted by the barracuda are exceedingly severe and sometimes fatal.
Appletons’ Popular Science Monthly, September 1899 Various

I did not know then, as I know now, that barracuda grow to twelve feet in the Caribbean.
Tales of Fishes Zane Grey

About ten-thirty of this most delightful and favorable day we ran into a school of barracuda.
Tales of Fishes Zane Grey

Mostly they are caught by accident while drags are set for kingfish or barracuda.
Tales of Fishes Zane Grey

We worked around him awhile, but he would not take a barracuda or a flying-fish.
Tales of Fishes Zane Grey

His tail was big like that of a tuna, and his head sharper, more wolfish than a barracuda.
Tales of Fishes Zane Grey

noun (pl) -da, -das
any predatory marine teleost fish of the mostly tropical family Sphyraenidae, esp Sphyraena barracuda. They have an elongated body, strong teeth, and a protruding lower jaw

1670s, from American Spanish barracuda, perhaps from a Carib word.


A predator; a treacherous person: barracudas at the casino


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