el·​ver ˈel-vər How to pronounce elver (audio)
: a young eel
specifically : a small immature catadromous eel chiefly of fresh and brackish water

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In Sweden, they might be smoked, braised in beer, or fried in butter; in Italy, boiled in tomato sauce; in England, jellied in stock, or fried with eggs into an elver cake. Brooke Jarvis, The New Yorker, 18 May 2020 The season for baby eels, called elvers, was scheduled to begin Sunday. USA TODAY, 23 Mar. 2020 The elvers are subject to strict quotas designed to prevent overfishing. USA TODAY, 20 Feb. 2020 The state caps the total number of elver licenses at 425. USA TODAY, 20 Feb. 2020 The spokeswoman said that a third Chinese national had escaped from the airport, leaving another suitcase containing an additional 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of elvers. Julie Zaugg, CNN, 31 Oct. 2019 One of the kingpins was a Maine dealer named Bill Sheldon, who years earlier had taught fellow fishermen how to catch the tiny translucent elvers swimming upstream by moonlight. National Geographic, 27 June 2018 Court records show that Sheldon worked with a network of elver fishermen and dealers up and down the East Coast to smuggle eels to Asia. National Geographic, 27 June 2018 The elver fishery is tightly regulated to deter poaching because of the high value of the baby fish. Washington Post, 23 May 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'elver.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


alteration of eelfare migration of eels

First Known Use

circa 1640, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of elver was circa 1640

Dictionary Entries Near elver

Cite this Entry

“Elver.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/elver. Accessed 29 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


el·​ver ˈel-vər How to pronounce elver (audio)
: a young eel

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