minnow

A minnow is a tiny freshwater fish. Minnows are commonly caught in nets and used as bait for catching larger fish.

What we think of as a minnow could actually be any of a number of fish, since this term is the common name for a lot of species. While most people don't consider minnows to be food fish, they are part of the traditional diet of many indigenous North Americans and can be eaten whole, like sardines, if they're small enough. In Ireland, minnows are known as "pinkeens."

Definitions of minnow
  1. noun
    very small European freshwater fish common in gravelly streams
    synonyms: Phoxinus phoxinus
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    type of:
    cyprinid, cyprinid fish
    soft-finned mainly freshwater fishes typically having toothless jaws and cycloid scales
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