Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A small marine fish (Mallotus villosus) of northern waters, closely related to the smelts and valued especially for its roe.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Same as caplin.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) Either of two small marine fishes formerly classified in the family Salmonidæ, now within the smelt family Osmeridae: Mallotus villosus, very abundant on the coasts of Greenland, Iceland, Newfoundland, and Alaska; or Mallotus catervarius, found in the North Pacific. The Atlantic variety has been used as a bait for the cod.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A small fish of the smelt family found in the Atlantic and Arctic oceans, Mallotus villosus.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun very small northern fish; forage for sea birds and marine mammals and other fishes

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Canadian French capelan, from French, codfish, from Old Provençal, from Medieval Latin cappelānus; see chaplain.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French capelan < Old Provençal capelan < Late Latin cappellanus ("chaplain").

Examples

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