cis·​co ˈsi-(ˌ)skō How to pronounce cisco (audio)
plural ciscoes
: any of various whitefishes (genus Coregonus) that have a large mouth with a long and often projecting lower jaw
especially : lake herring

Examples of cisco in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The suction-cup mouth and teeth helps a lamprey burrow into (and feed on) the flesh of trout, sturgeon, whitefish, ciscoes, burbot, walleye, catfish, and salmon, among others. Joe Genzel, Outdoor Life, 27 May 2020 Cold-water species like cisco were involved in 6% of the die-offs analyzed by the researchers. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, 9 July 2019 The fish have demonstrated a survival capability not found in most other native ciscoes in the region, five of which have disappeared from Lake Michigan. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 20 Jan. 2018 Wazee is stocked periodically with trout, and a cisco introduction project was started in 2013. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 25 May 2018 In addition, populations of cisco (also called lake herring), one of the major prey items for lake trout, were displaced by non-native alewife and rainbow smelt. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 28 Apr. 2018 The Guam flycatcher, the Caribbean monk seal, and the blackfin cisco are now completely extinct from our planet. Josh Linkner, Detroit Free Press, 1 Apr. 2018 And further down the food chain, at least seven species of ciscos were known to exist. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3 Jan. 2018 Michael Lemanski of Florence, Wisc., caught the cisco at approximately 10 a.m. June 9 on Lake Ottawa in Iron County (western Upper Peninsula). Brian Manzullo, Detroit Free Press, 18 Oct. 2017

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

Word History


short for Canadian French ciscoette

First Known Use

1848, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cisco was in 1848

Dictionary Entries Near cisco

Cite this Entry

“Cisco.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

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