A fish of the genus Acipenser or (more widely) the family Acipenseridae; a sturgeon. Also (in form Acipenser): the genus itself, to which most species of sturgeon belong.
Valid publication of the genus name: Linnaeus Systema Naturae (1758)I. 237.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Richard Brathwait (?1588–1673), poet and writer. From classical Latin acipēnser name of a fish, probably the sturgeon, of uncertain origin, probably a compound, with a first element related to aciēs sharp edge, acus needle, perhaps on account of the sturgeon's long thin snout.