What does catfish mean?

To assume a false identity

Catfish is a term that refers to a person who pretends to be someone that he is not online. The term was made popular by a 2010 documentary and subsequent TV show of the same name.

The term commonly refers to users who deceive other users on social sites, particularly with online romances. A popular example of fake online romances is when football player Manti Te’o was duped into believing he was dating a woman with cancer. It was revealed that the girl didn't exist and a man had been pretending to be Te'o's girlfriend. Catfish is typically used as a verb but can also be used as a noun to label a person as a catfish.


You still haven't met her after dating for three months?
Yeah, she keeps making excuses.
That's sketchy man, you might be dating a catfish.
A guy getting catfished online by an actual catfish

A guy getting catfished online by an actual catfish

Related Slang


Updated December 11, 2017

Catfish definition by

This page explains what the slang term "Catfish" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the team.

We are constantly updating our database with new slang terms, acronyms, and abbreviations. If you would like to suggest a term or an update to an existing one, please let us know!