Dead Fish Meaning and Symbolism (Loss & Failure?)

The dead fish is highly symbolic and represents feelings of loss, failure, regret, conflict wrong decisions and missed opportunity. The dead fish is not something to fear, it is an acknowledgment of the experience, and an opportunity to move past it.

The dead fish will mainly appear in a dream when you are battling feelings of self-hatred or sadness. Be sure to work on amending the situation it is symbolic toward whilst still being kind to yourself.

Dead Fish Meaning and Symbolism

Dead Fish Symbolism

1. Loss

A dead fish is commonly considered to be a symbol of great loss.

This could be a loss of wealth, friendship, relationship, home or work. The dead fish should be considered an acknowledgment that loss has occurred in your life.

If you see the dead fish, you should not panic. Accepting and acknowledging the loss you have faced will ensure you come out as a stronger person.

The dead fish is also often a sign that comes to people who have lost a loved one to illness. It’s a sign that it is okay to take the time to deal with the loss you have faced.

Work through any feelings of sadness, grief or frustration. By allowing yourself time with your feelings, you may find that you come out stronger on the other side.

If someone you love is facing a gambling addiction, the dead fish could also be a sign that you should intervene and offer help and support before they experience excessive loss.

The loss that is coming could be your own, or someone close to you. Be a non-judgemental source of help and do not be afraid to ask for help from others as well.

If you dream that your pet fish died, it may be a sign that change is required in your life.

2. Failure

The sight of a dead fish can also symbolize failure. If you have seen a dead fish it is a sign to not dwell on any failures that you have faced.

Everyone makes mistakes, and it is important to learn from those mistakes rather than sit in guilt or sadness.

You may have received a low mark in an academic assessment, perhaps you were fired from your job or you did not receive bank approval for a mortgage.

Remember that this will pass, and you can only take lessons from what has happened.

Do not be afraid to ask for feedback on something you did not perform well in. Apply this feedback and try again in the future. All you can do is aim to perform better in the next opportunity.

Be sure to allow yourself to feel upset with the failure, but after the initial sorrow has passed, channel the energy into doing better next time.

It is possible to overcome the failure and be even better than you have ever been before with the right mindset and work ethic.

Related: What does it mean when you dream of a fish out of water?

3. Missed Opportunity

The dead fish is a symbol that an opportunity may have been missed. The thing you missed may be something you have been dwelling on and regret missing.

The opportunity does not have to be something as obvious as a work promotion or a family holiday. It could also be missing the chance to purchase an item or even missed workout sessions.

Do not dwell on the past and missed opportunities. Instead, focus on taking advantage of any future opportunities that come your way.

Make sure to try saying yes to invitations and put your best foot forward at performance reviews to ensure you are not missing out on something which you may regret.

The dead fish could also be a symbol that something you are considering would be a mistake to pass up. Consider anything that has recently come up and weigh up your options carefully.

Related: Blue Koi Fish Symbolism

4. You’ve Made a Wrong Decision

The dead fish could also be a symbol that you have made a wrong decision recently or are in the process of making a wrong decision.

Do not beat yourself up over any mistakes or decisions you have made, but instead focus on what went wrong with the decision.

The dead fish could be telling you that someone or something in your life is making you question your morals and values. Think carefully about who and what you are associating yourself with.

Make sure to make decisions because you want to, and not because other people are influencing you.

If you have made a wrong decision which has hurt someone close to you, make sure to apologise and reflect on why you made that choice. Remember, you cannot guarantee forgiveness, but you can only do what is in your control after the action has been made.

5. Regret

A dead fish appearing in a dream can also be a symbol that you are holding on to and harnessing a lot of negative feelings of regret.

Make sure you be kind to yourself and accept that you cannot change the past. All you can do is become a better person and learn from your mistakes.

Make sure to make amends to those who you may have hurt or prove you have changed. Make an effort to work on improving yourself and think carefully before making any concrete decisions.

Nothing is permanent and the dead fish is a sign that you can release the regret and be kinder to yourself.

6. Conflicts

The dead fish is also a symbol of conflict. This could be interpersonal or intrapersonal conflict.

This could be taken as a sign to resolve any conflicts, as they are weighing heavily on your mental state.

Be kind to those around you as well as to yourself and take the time for self-care and self-reflecting. If you are harbouring negative feelings about a conflict you had with a friend or loved one, take the time to understand and process the conflict.

You do not have to forgive someone if they hurt you greatly, however you can unpack the conflict and have a conversation to debrief after the situation.

Conflicts with beliefs and values are much more complex, and the dead fish a sign to stay true to yourself and what you know and believe. Do not feel that you have to change for anyone.

What Does it Mean when you Dream of a Dead Fish?

Dreams about dead fish usually symbolize something negative unfortunately. It can be a symbol of loss, failure, regret, and conflict.

It’s hard to truly know the symbol you are receiving in your dream. This is because the message you are getting can be very different from the one I’m getting.

The message is contextual. This means you need to think about which message is the one you need in your life right now. That doesn’t mean you can choose a message, but rather that you need to reflect on the messages (I like to journal about them) and see which one you think was the relevant one to you.

Only you can know the meaning of your own dreams. And in fact, you should also keep your mind open to the idea that there was no symbolism in the dream at all. Don’t make hasty assumptions!

To get a better idea, though, we can look at what was happening in the dream:

  • If you dream about catching a dead fish – This could mean that something is turning out to be more disappointing than you had expected.
  • If you dream about a fish dying – You may be in the process of losing something. The message may be to accept the loss and look for new windows of opportunity elsewhere.
  • If you dream about a dead fish in your home – You may be experiencing conflict or a disturbance of the balance in your home or personal life. Reflect on how to regain your inner peace.
  • If you dream about a rotting fish carcass – This may mean that there is a failure that you’re hanging on to. Know it’s time to move past failure and learn from it.

Reflect on these potential dream meanings to see if they make sense to you.

Biblical Meaning of Dead Fish in Dreams

Christians may interpret a dream of dead fish as a sign from god to pray about your mistakes and losses to seek forgiveness, a second chance, or divine guidance.

In Christianity, fish are a symbol of Jesus’s glory. The Ichthys used to use the symbol of a fish to signify their faith in god and as a sign to one another that Christians are near. And of course, Jesus himself multiplied a small number of fish so they could feed the masses in the bible.

So, many Christians interpret a dead fish as a symbol that Jesus is concerned that you have turned away from him. He may be reminding you to maintain your relationship with him by praying and seeking forgiveness, as all Christians should.

Meanings of Dead Fish (Table Summary)

Dead Fish SymbolismMeaning
1. LossBeware of experiencing a big loss, either financially or personally.
2. FailureTry not to dwell on failures that you may have recently experienced.
3. A missed opportunityYou may have recently missed an opportunity. You are being asked to learn from this mistake.
4. You’ve made the wrong decisionLearn from a recent poor decision, don’t dwell, and move on.
5. RegretYou’re feeling a lot of regret. Try to work through it and forgive yourself.
6. ConflictWork on resolving the conflicts in your life because they are not serving you well.



It’s hard to tell exactly the meaning of dead fish in dreams. But the above are a range of possible interpretations to reflect upon. Journal about these, as well as other, possible interpretations to help you reflect on your life. It can be a useful way to think through your emotions and truly connect with what your true path will be in life.

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