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topminnow

[top-min-oh]
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noun, plural (especially collectively) top·min·now, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) top·min·nows.
  1. any of several small, surface-swimming fishes of the egg-laying family Cyprinodontidae and the live-bearing family Poeciliidae, some of which are used in mosquito control.
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Origin of topminnow

An Americanism dating back to 1880–85; top1 + minnow
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for topminnow

topminnow

noun plural -now or -nows
  1. any of various small American freshwater cyprinodont fishes that are either viviparous (genera Heterandria, Gambusia, etc) or egg-laying (genus Fundulus)
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Word Origin

from top 1 + minnow; so called because they are small and swim near the surface of the water
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