Definitions

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

  • noun Any of a large group of small freshwater fishes of the family Cyprinidae, widely used as live bait.
  • noun Any of various other small, often silver-colored fishes.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A name sometimes given to a very small fish of New Zealand, Galaxias attenuatus, of the family Galaxidæ. Also called whitebait. The Maori name is inanga.
  • noun See leatherside.
  • noun The smallest of the British cyprinoid fishes, Phoxinus aphya or lævis.
  • noun In the United States, one of many different fishes of small size,

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

  • noun (Zoöl.) A small European fresh-water cyprinoid fish (Phoxinus lævis, formerly Leuciscus phoxinus); sometimes applied also to the young of larger kinds; -- called also minim and minny. The name is also applied to several allied American species, of the genera Phoxinus, Notropis, or Minnilus, and Rhinichthys.
  • noun (Zoöl.) Any of numerous small American cyprinodont fishes of the genus Fundulus, and related genera. They live both in fresh and in salt water. Called also killifish, minny, and mummichog.

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

  • noun A small freshwater fish of the carp family.
  • noun More generally, any small fish.
  • noun soccer A low-level team, in comparison to their opponents.
  • verb fishing to fish minnows
  • verb fishing to fish (especially trout) using a minnow as bait

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

  • noun very small European freshwater fish common in gravelly streams

Etymologies

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

[Middle English meneu; see men- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English menow, from Old English *mynwe, oblique form of *mynu, unattested variant of Old English myne ("minnow, small fish"), from Proto-Germanic *muniwō (“minnow”), from Proto-Indo-European *men- (“small”). Cognate with Middle Low German mone, möne (West Frisian meun, Dutch meun), Old High German muniwa, munuwa, munewa (German Münne ("minnow")).

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,

    A tale of a fateful trip... (or something).

    Uh-oh! Earworm alert!!

    October 23, 2007

  • Does anyone know if ducks eat minnows?

    November 27, 2007

  • I wouldn't think the flat bill would be very conducive to catching or swallowing fish, but I'm no biologist...

    November 27, 2007

  • Depends on the duck - some are vegetarian, but others, like the merganser, are fishing ducks.

    November 27, 2007

  • Thanks trivet! Do you happen to know whether your common or garden pond-ducks are minnovorous, so to speak? Ordinary town ducks, you know.

    November 27, 2007

  • Most town ducks, like mallards, tend to be dabbling vegetarians, though few vegetarian animals will turn down free protein. See pika discussion.

    Opportunistic minnovores, perhaps.

    November 27, 2007

  • Excellent. Thank you.

    November 27, 2007

  • If I were a duck, I'd eat minnows. They're very small.

    November 27, 2007

  • Yes, it's funny how you never hear about a big minnow.

    November 27, 2007

  • "The Colorado Pike Minnow is the largest minnow in North America. These fish have been known to reach six feet in length and 80 pounds in weight."

    But do they eat ducks?

    November 27, 2007