noun, plural (especially collectively) bo·ni·to, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) bo·ni·tos.

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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bonito

Contemporary Examples of bonito

Historical Examples of bonito

  • The Dutch gunner appeared on the forecastle of the Bonito, and with him a couple of men.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for bonito


noun plural -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 for bonito

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

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