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baitfish

[beyt-fish]
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noun, plural (especially collectively) bait·fish, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) bait·fish·es.
  1. a small fish that is a source of food for a larger fish: Fishermen knew the presence of baitfish meant plenty of bass nearby.
  2. Angling. any small fish, as a minnow or shiner, used as bait.
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Origin of baitfish

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018