- either of two small fishes of the smelt family, Mallotus villosus, of coastal North American waters, or M. catervarius, of the North Pacific.
Origin of capelin
1610–20, Americanism; < Middle French capelan < Old Provençal: codfish, literally, chaplain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for capelin
Fish were scarce, capelin never struck in, fur could not be got.Labrador Days
Wilfred Thomason Grenfell
Humpback whales congregate in these areas to feed upon the summer blooms of euphausiids, herring, and capelin.Humpback Whales in Glacier Bay National Monument, Alaska
United States Department of Commerce, Marine Mammal Commission
Minke whales feed primarily on small shoal fish (herring, cod, pollack, and capelin).
Spring and summer concentrations along the Canadian coast correspond to concentrations of capelin, cod, and herring.
Belugas feed on a variety of fishes (including cod and capelin), on squid, and on a variety of benthic crustaceans.
- a small marine food fish, Mallotus villosus, occurring in northern and Arctic seas: family Osmeridae (smelts)
C17: from French capelan, from Old Provençal, literally: chaplain
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