AskDefine | Define minnow

Dictionary Definition

minnow n : very small European freshwater fish common in gravelly streams [syn: Phoxinus phoxinus]

User Contributed Dictionary



Probably from etyl ang *|mynwe (though unattested), cognate with Old High German munewa (German Münne). The word has been inlfuenced in English by Old French menu.



  1. A small freshwater fish of the carp family.
  2. More generally, any small fish.
  3. A low-level team, in comparison to their opponents.


a small freshwater fish
any small fish

Extensive Definition

Minnow may refer to:
  • a type of small fish including, in decreasing order of specificity:
  • for fish, in regional usage, it can refer to:
  • the S.S. Minnow, the wrecked boat featured in the television series Gilligan's Island.
  • metaphorically, particularly in sports, an underdog, especially an extreme underdog
  • in activities such as business, sports or politics, small or new players to contrast them with the established players. For example, countries like Bermuda and Scotland are referred to as minnows in the cricket World Cup.

See also

  • Chub, a term for several groups of small cyprinid fish
  • Dace, another term for many small cyprinid fish
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