min·​now | \ ˈmi-(ˌ)nō How to pronounce minnow (audio) \
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 While Bellatorium is a relative minnow in the investment world, having raised $31 million for its most recently active funds, the nature and apparent candor of Bentley’s confession is startling. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "A Texas fund manager admits defrauding investors — in a 1,361-word email to them," 22 Apr. 2021 Steelheaders generally like jigs in the 1/32-ounce or 1/16-ounce category — best for when the river current is a bit slow — with maggots or an emerald shiner minnow for bait. cleveland, "Rivers low, slow and full of trout: Cleveland-area fishing report for the weekend of Jan. 22-24, 2021," 21 Jan. 2021 Couche-Tard is a minnow by comparison to the French giant: The Canadian company, whose full name is Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., has revenues of about $54 billion, roughly half of Carrefour’s. Vivienne Walt, Fortune, "Seeing a ‘sovereignty’ threat (and pasta risk), France opposes Carrefour takeover," 14 Jan. 2021 This is why an active bait can attract a fish to bite from a long distance versus a dead minnow hanging below the ice. Brian Bashore, Outdoor Life, "10 Early Ice Fishing Walleye Tactics That Will Put You on the Bite," 21 Dec. 2020 This fly is a minnow imitation with synthetic wings that will catch steelhead in any stretch of a Great Lakes trib. Andrew Pegman, Field & Stream, "12 Hot Fly Patterns for Great Lakes Steelhead," 2 Sep. 2020 Another technique Brosdahl uses is jigging a lively sucker minnow or jigging a big, fluttery spoon. Andrew Pegman, Field & Stream, "How to Icefish for Giant Walleye, Lake Trout, and Perch," 27 Oct. 2020 No matter narratives of U.S. decline, there’s also the inescapable reality that Beijing remains a soft power minnow on the world stage and is viewed with wariness and negativity in many countries. Washington Post, "What China gains if Trump wins," 16 Oct. 2020 The Brookie looks and fishes like a minnow pattern. Andrew Pegman, Field & Stream, "12 Hot Fly Patterns for Great Lakes Steelhead," 2 Sep. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about minnow

Time Traveler for minnow

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for minnow

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Minnow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/minnow. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce minnow (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on minnow

Nglish: Translation of minnow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about minnow

Comments on minnow

What made you want to look up minnow? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!