• synonyms

chain pickerel

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  1. See under pickerel(def 1).

Origin of chain pickerel

An Americanism dating back to 1900–05


[pik-er-uh l, pik-ruh l]
noun, plural (especially collectively) pick·er·el, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) pick·er·els.
  1. any of several small species of pike, as Esox niger (chain pickerel) and E. americanus americanus (redfin pickerel), of eastern North America.
  2. the walleye or pikeperch, Stizostedion vitreum.
  3. British. a young pike.

Origin of pickerel

First recorded in 1300–50, pickerel is from the Middle English word pickerel. See pike1, -erel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for chain pickerel


noun plural -el or -els
  1. any of several North American freshwater game fishes, such as Esox americanus and E. niger: family Esocidae (pikes, walleye, etc)

Word Origin

C14: a small pike; diminutive of pike 1
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

Word Origin and History for chain pickerel



"young pike," late 13c., diminutive of pike, the fish (see pike (n.3)), with French pejorative suffix -rel; perhaps formed in Anglo-French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper