whitebait Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun minnows or other small fresh- or saltwater fish (especially herring); usually cooked whole
  2. noun the edible young of especially herrings and sprats and smelts


White"bait` noun
  1. (Zoöl.) (a) The young of several species of herrings, especially of the common herring, esteemed a great delicacy by epicures in England. (b) A small translucent fish (Salanx Chinensis) abundant at certain seasons on the coasts of China and Japan, and used in the same manner as the European whitebait.

Webster 1913