white·​bait ˈ(h)wīt-ˌbāt How to pronounce whitebait (audio)
: the young of any of several European herrings and especially of the common herring (Clupea harengus) or of the sprat (Sprattus sprattus)
: any of various small fishes likened to the European whitebait and used as food

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of whitebait was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near whitebait

Cite this Entry

“Whitebait.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whitebait. Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

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