pick·​er·​el ˈpi-k(ə-)rəl How to pronounce pickerel (audio)
plural pickerel or pickerels
dialectal, chiefly British : a young or small pike
: either of two fishes resembling but smaller than the related northern pike:
: one (Esox americanus) of eastern North America having green or red fins and a black bar below and slanting away from the eye

Examples of pickerel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Trout, pike, and pickerel—all of which are popular on the table—have many more small bones that need to be dealt with than snakeheads. Joe Cermele, Outdoor Life, 20 July 2023 Range and Distribution of Muskie vs Pike Northern pike and muskies are members of the Esox family of fish, which also includes chain pickerel and grass pickerel. Joe Cermele, Field & Stream, 19 July 2023 Additionally, overgrown, ultra-shallow shoreline areas that hold spawning sunfish, prowling largemouths or ambushing pickerel are often best fished from the confines of a quiet, stealthy yak. Jim Gronaw, Baltimore Sun, 2 July 2023 The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources quickly jumped in to dispel any worry about the pickerel. Joe Cermele, Field & Stream, 14 Feb. 2023 By hooking a shiner through the back and using a long-shank hook and 15-pound fluorocarbon, I rarely get cut off by pickerel. Joe Cermele, Outdoor Life, 10 May 2023 The pond, two or three acres in extent, teemed with pike, pickerel, and perch. Don Holm, Outdoor Life, 3 Apr. 2023 Whitefish, herring, pike and pickerel. jsonline.com, 2 Sep. 2021 The pickerel would have been perfectly safe to consume. Joe Cermele, Field & Stream, 14 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pickerel.' 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 pikerel, diminutive of pike

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of pickerel was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near pickerel

Cite this Entry

“Pickerel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pickerel. Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


pick·​er·​el ˈpik-(ə-)rəl How to pronounce pickerel (audio)
plural pickerel or pickerels
: either of two fishes resembling but smaller than the related pike

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