gill·​net | \ ˈgil-ˌnet How to pronounce gillnet (audio) \
gillnetted; gillnetting; gillnets

Definition of gillnet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to catch (fish) with a gill net

gill net


Definition of gill net (Entry 2 of 2)

: a flat net suspended vertically in the water with meshes that allow the head of a fish to pass but entangle the gills upon withdrawal

Examples of gillnet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Back then, fishermen set hundreds of miles of gill nets and thousands of trap nets in Lake Erie. Tony Briscoe,, "In the Great Lakes’ most productive fishing grounds, algae-fueled dead zones are eroding livelihoods," 14 Nov. 2019 The biggest problem for the dolphins has been entanglement in gill nets, causing them to drown. Stefan Lovgren, National Geographic, "Cambodia’s endangered river dolphins at highest population in 20 years," 5 Apr. 2019 The international prize honored his campaigns to save Mexico’s near-extinct vaquita porpoises and to promote the sale of Mexican shrimp caught without the (now-banned) gill nets that were entangling vaquita. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Carlsbad, Baja chefs aim to heal border rift over the dinner table," 12 July 2019 Experts say that gill nets have to be permanently banned in the area if there is any hope for the vaquita and the totoaba — itself an endangered fish — are to survive. Mark Stevenson, The Seattle Times, "Mexican Navy: 1 injured in clash near vaquita reserve," 29 Mar. 2019 A decade of rescue crusades by conservation groups, hard-core eco-activists and the U.S. Navy have failed to prevent the world’s rarest porpoise from becoming fatally entangled in gill nets set for seafood in Mexico’s northern Gulf of California. Louis Sahagun,, "To save the world's rarest marine mammal, conservationists seek ban on Mexican seafood imports," 11 July 2018 State officials suspect someone caught the shark pups in a gill net, then illegally dumped the bodies on land, according to the publication. Don Sweeney, sacbee, "‘Sick to my stomach.’ Someone dumped 100 dead baby hammerhead sharks at Hawaii lagoon," 27 June 2018 The fishing village of San Felipe has embraced using gill nets to illegally capture the massive 120-pound fish and cut out their bladders, which when dried sell for as much as $30,000 in China. Joshua Emerson Smith,, "Illegal wildlife trade likely unstoppable without dramatic shift in public awareness," 22 Apr. 2018 The canneries were supplied by commercial fishers, who used gill nets to entangle the turtles, setting the nets in and around passes and channels the turtles used to travel in the bays and move between bays and the ocean. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Texas' green sea turtles exhibit remarkable resiliency," 13 Jan. 2018

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

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First Known Use of gillnet


1949, in the meaning defined above


1796, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for gillnet

The first known use of gillnet was in 1796

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