min·​now ˈmi-(ˌ)nō How to pronounce minnow (audio)
plural minnows also minnow
: a small cyprinid, killifish, or topminnow
: any of various small fish that are less than a designated size and are not game fish
: a live or artificial minnow used as bait

Examples of minnow in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Along with small tubes and jigs, small, suspending minnow baits also work great on early-season crappie. Don Wirth, Field & Stream, 4 Apr. 2024 Just as the tiny minnow powers the barbel run in the river, which sustains various larger creatures, so do each of our individual choices contribute to the interwoven tapestry of the human species. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, 1 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for minnow 

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

Word History


Middle English menawe; akin to Old English myne minnow, Old High German munewa, a kind of fish

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of minnow was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near minnow

Cite this Entry

“Minnow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/minnow. Accessed 29 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


min·​now ˈmin-ō How to pronounce minnow (audio)
plural minnows also minnow
: any of various small freshwater fishes (as a dace or shiner) related to the carps
also : any of various small fishes that resemble minnows

More from Merriam-Webster on minnow

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