Barbel (Barbus vulgaris), a fish of the Cyprinid family, which is an inhabitant of the rivers of central Europe, and is very locally distributed in England. It has four barbels (Lat. barba, beard; fleshy appendages hanging from the mouth), and the first ray of the short dorsal fin is strong, spine-like and serrated behind. It attains a weight of 50 lb on the continent of Europe. The genus of which it is the type is a very large one, comprising about 300 species from Europe, Asia and Africa, among which is the mahseer or mahaseer, the great sporting fish of India.