cap·​e·​lin ˈka-p(ə-)lən How to pronounce capelin (audio)
: a small northern sea fish (Mallotus villosus) of the smelt family

Examples of capelin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Twenty-two species show up during this period, coming to feed on krill, capelin, and squid in the tens of thousands. Jennifer Billock, Condé Nast Traveler, 19 Oct. 2023 The capelin rear guard, sensing danger, rose off the bottom in a great fleeing cloud. Robert Kunzig, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 And here, in a stretch of the Arctic Ocean 400 kilometers north of where they’d ever been seen before: capelin. WIRED, 24 June 2023 To Merten, the evidence of so many capelin so far north is a bold sign of a worrying Arctic phenomenon: Atlantification. WIRED, 24 June 2023 And here, in a stretch of the Arctic Ocean 250 miles north of where they’d ever been seen before: capelin. William Von Herff, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 June 2023 Canada's Capelin Roll Each year around the summer solstice (June 20th this year), the beaches of Newfoundland and Labrador explode in silvery sparkles as millions of capelin fish arrive in the shallows to spawn. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Feb. 2020 Iceland’s economy is on the cusp of a recession, partly because an important export, the capelin fish, vanished this year in search of colder waters. Liz Alderman, New York Times, 9 Aug. 2019 And cod, which this year brought in record profits of $1 billion, feed on capelin. Kendra Pierre-Louis, New York Times, 29 Nov. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'capelin.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Canadian French capelan, from French, codfish, from Old Occitan, chaplain, codfish, from Medieval Latin cappellanus chaplain — more at chaplain

First Known Use

1620, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of capelin was in 1620

Dictionary Entries Near capelin

Cite this Entry

“Capelin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2024.

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