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 Although biologically a minnow, the humpback chub can reach 20 inches and 2.5 pounds. Brittany Peterson And John Flesher, USA TODAY, 15 June 2022 Although biologically a minnow, the humpback chub can reach 20 inches and 2.5 pounds. CBS News, 15 June 2022 Rite Aid, which was once the largest pharmacy chain in the country, is now just a minnow in the Big Pharmacy pond. Phil Wahba, Fortune, 14 June 2022 But an emerging threat becomes evident in early June as Friesen hauls up minnow traps and gillnets packed with carp, gizzard shad, green sunfish and, ominously, three smallmouth bass. Brittany Peterson And John Flesher, USA TODAY, 15 June 2022 Turns 1 and 2 are shaped differently from 3 and 4 (the result of a minnow pond that builder Harold Brasington contractually could not fill in), meaning racers can’t rest easy entering the corners. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 8 May 2022 Russia is a minnow of a financial market by global terms. Alexander Osipovich And Caitlin Ostroff, WSJ, 23 Mar. 2022 Spinning tackle anglers are doing the same with casting spoons, heavy in-line spinners and minnow-style diving plugs. D'arcy Egan, cleveland, 23 Dec. 2021 Pupfish—tiny, minnow-like fish that occupy pools and streams at various points along the Amargosa River—were once thought to be extinct in Shoshone, but in 1986 they were rediscovered in a culvert next to the R.V. park. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 4 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

30 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Minnow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/minnow. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for minnow


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


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