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[buh-nee-toh] /bəˈni toʊ/
noun, plural (especially collectively) bonito (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) bonitos.
any mackerellike fish of the genus Sarda, as S. sarda, of the Atlantic Ocean.
any of several related species, as the skipjack, Euthynnus pelamis.
Origin of bonito
1590-1600; < Spanish < Arabic bainīth Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for bonito
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Dutch gunner appeared on the forecastle of the bonito, and with him a couple of men.

    'Twixt Land & Sea Joseph Conrad
  • The bend was named by Beaman "bonito," and in the morning he made a number of views.

    A Canyon Voyage Frederick S. Dellenbaugh
  • An oceanic fish, well-known as the bonito or horse-mackerel.

    The Sailor's Word-Book William Henry Smyth
  • Come now, my good fellows, New Sestros is my flagship, as the bonito is yours!

    Captain Canot Brantz Mayer
  • They had not long to wait before a bonito came gambolling by.

    The South Sea Whaler W.H.G. Kingston
  • The bonito is also a fast swimmer; and all those fishes "trimmed" in like fashion with him.

    Poachers and Poaching John Watson
  • Was it true that a new schoolhouse was going to be built on bonito?

    The Sheriff's Son

    William MacLeod Raine
  • The news had just arrived when the bonito entered the port, and the town was in a ferment.

  • The bonito was a large vessel, built for stowage rather than speed.

British Dictionary definitions for bonito


noun (pl) -tos
any of various small tunny-like marine food fishes of the genus Sarda, of warm Atlantic and Pacific waters: family Scombridae (tunnies and mackerels)
any of various similar or related fishes, such as Katsuwonus pelamis (oceanic bonito), the flesh of which is dried and flaked and used in Japanese cookery
Word Origin
C16: from Spanish bonito, from Latin bonus good
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bonito

type of sea fish, 1590s, from Spanish bonito, probably literally "the good one," diminutive of bueno "good," from Latin bonus (see bene-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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