smelt

noun
\ ˈsmelt How to pronounce smelt (audio) \
plural smelts or smelt

Definition of smelt

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: any of a family (Osmeridae) of small bony fishes that closely resemble the trouts in general structure, live along coasts and ascend rivers to spawn or are landlocked, and have delicate oily flesh with a distinctive odor and taste

smelt

verb
smelted; smelting; smelts

Definition of smelt (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to melt or fuse (a substance, such as ore) often with an accompanying chemical change usually to separate the metal
2 : refine, reduce

smelt

Definition of smelt (Entry 3 of 3)

chiefly British past participle of smell entry 1

Examples of smelt in a Sentence

Verb

the process used for smelting iron ore

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Pumping often gets interrupted to protect Delta smelt and other fish, whose numbers have been decimated by the effects of the pumping. Dale Kasler, sacbee, "Even cut in half, plan for Delta tunnels doesn’t win over opponents | The Sacramento Bee," 8 Feb. 2018 Decades of pumping have helped pushed smelt, Chinook salmon and other fish to the brink of extinction. Dale Kasler And Ryan Sabalow, sacbee, "Southern California water agency backs 2 Delta tunnels in breakthrough vote," 11 Apr. 2018 The National Marine Fisheries Service works with the state to protect the delta smelt and Chinook salmon, two fish species under threat because of California's drought, according to ABC News. Jonathan Hunt, Fox News, "Commerce chief scolds California over environmental policies he says hinder firefighters: ‘Lives are at stake’," 9 Aug. 2018 Yet tens of billions of gallons of water each year are wasted because of restrictions on pumping in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta that are intended to protect fish including smelt and chinook salmon. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trump’s California Water Relief," 19 Oct. 2018 These restrictions are intended to prevent smelt from getting ensnared in the pumps and to maintain a pH balance suitable for fish. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trump’s California Water Relief," 19 Oct. 2018 Rainbow smelt, which reached Lake Michigan in 1923, was the first major exotic species to take hold. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee loves its rivers and Lake Michigan — and keeps abusing them, too," 3 July 2018 The pumps chomp up all manner of fish, including salmon and endangered tiny native smelt. George Skelton, latimes.com, "What do Southern Californians really get out of Gov. Jerry Brown's twin tunnels project?," 12 July 2018 The Brown Administration said the tunnel system would deliver more water to Southern California and prevent smelt and other fish from being sucked into pipes. Peter Fimrite, San Francisco Chronicle, "California’s two-tunnel Delta project is back on track with SoCal water district’s vote," 10 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Then there’s the hidden logistics around how the simple components inside it are harvested and smelted and assembled, through multiple layers of contractors, distributors, and downstream component manufacturers. James Vincent, The Verge, "This beautiful map shows everything that powers an Amazon Echo, from data mines to lakes of lithium," 9 Sep. 2018 Alumina, produced from bauxite, is smelted to make aluminum. Rhiannon Hoyle, WSJ, "Labor Unrest Strikes Mining Giants," 9 Aug. 2018 Iron that comes from meteorites has a higher nickel content than iron dug up from the ground and smelted by humans. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of Steel," 9 July 2018 But smelting iron in the colonies destroyed business for the ironworks in England. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of Steel," 9 July 2018 Others had tried smelting iron with coal, but Darby was the first to roast the coal before smelting. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of Steel," 9 July 2018 Thousands of years ago, when the ancient Greek and Roman empires ruled over Europe, lead was mined and smelted to produce water pipes and ship sheathing, for example. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Secrets in the ice: Pollution in Greenland reveals rise and fall of ancient European civilizations," 14 May 2018 Two thousand years ago, the Romans smelted precious ores in clay furnaces, extracting silver and belching lead into the sky. Katie Langin, Science | AAAS, "Top stories: HPV vaccine debate, 2000-year-old pollution, and a lawmaker’s views on sea level rise," 18 May 2018 When smelting silver, adding lead to the crushed ore helps concentrate the silver. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Greenland ice cores track Roman lead pollution in year-by-year detail," 15 May 2018

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

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1543, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for smelt

Noun

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Norwegian smelte whiting

Verb

Dutch or Low German smelten; akin to Old High German smelzan to melt, Old English meltan — more at melt

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Dictionary Entries near smelt

smell trouble

smell up

smelly

smelt

smelter

smelterman

Smetana

Statistics for smelt

Last Updated

25 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for smelt

The first known use of smelt was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for smelt

smelt

noun

English Language Learners Definition of smelt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a type of small fish that can be eaten

smelt

verb

English Language Learners Definition of smelt (Entry 2 of 2)

: to melt rock that contains metal in order to get the metal out

smelt

noun
\ ˈsmelt How to pronounce smelt (audio) \
plural smelts or smelt

Kids Definition of smelt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small silvery fish that is sometimes used for food

smelt

verb
smelted; smelting

Kids Definition of smelt (Entry 2 of 2)

: to melt (as ore) in order to separate the metal : refine

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More from Merriam-Webster on smelt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with smelt

Spanish Central: Translation of smelt

Nglish: Translation of smelt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of smelt for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about smelt

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