min·​now | \ˈmi-(ˌ)nō \
plural minnows also minnow

Definition of minnow 

1a : a small cyprinid, killifish, or topminnow

b : any of various small fish that are less than a designated size and are not game fish

2 : a live or artificial minnow used as bait

Examples of minnow in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Until very recently, Western Europe looked a lot like the United States, with Samsung commanding more than a third of the market, Apple in a close second spot, and minnows picking up the scraps. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Despite being shunned in America, Huawei is flourishing in Europe," 22 Aug. 2018 These minnows enrich larger predatory outfitters selling kits and infrastructure. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "How to win (or at least not lose) the war on phishing? Enlist machine learning," 7 Aug. 2018 Striper fishing is very good in the Colusa area, with jumbo minnows working best, along with swimbaits. sacbee, "Fishing line: Sacramento River sees plenty of stripers and shad | The Sacramento Bee," 30 Apr. 2018 Drift with minnows or slow-troll jigs in Lake Yale. Mark Blythe, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Fishing forecast: Feb. 17, 2018," 16 Feb. 2018 Mahrez has been one of the star players in English football since leaving French minnows AC Le Havre in 2014. SI.com, "Man City Reach Agreement in Principle With Leicester Talisman But Talks Stall Over Transfer Fee," 19 June 2018 Compared with China, where many companies have a market value greater than North Korea’s total gross domestic product, North Korea is a minnow swimming next to a whale. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un’s Low-Stakes Summit," 23 Apr. 2018 South Korea made an unexpected run to the semifinals as a co-host in 2002, and that noted minnow the United States reached its first round of 16 in 60 years in 1994. Chuck Culpepper, chicagotribune.com, "World Cup final will include one of these teams: England, Croatia, Sweden, Russia. Really.," 4 July 2018 Over the past two decades its chief executive, Michael O’Leary, turned the Irish minnow into Europe’s biggest carrier by copying the low-cost model of Southwest, an American budget airline. The Economist, "A Hungarian startup could beat Ryanair at its own low-cost game," 31 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'minnow.' 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 minnow

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

History and Etymology for minnow

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

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mino bird

Statistics for minnow

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for minnow

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

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More Definitions for minnow



English Language Learners Definition of minnow

: a very small fish that is often used as bait to catch larger fish


min·​now | \ˈmi-nō \

Kids Definition of minnow

1 : a small freshwater fish (as a shiner) related to the carp

2 : a fish that looks like a true minnow

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More from Merriam-Webster on minnow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with minnow

Spanish Central: Translation of minnow

Nglish: Translation of minnow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about minnow

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