[ hwahyt-beyt, wahyt- ]

noun,plural white·bait.
  1. a young sprat or herring.

  2. Cooking. any small, delicate fish cooked whole without being cleaned, especially the sprat.

Origin of whitebait

First recorded in 1750–60; white + bait, so called from use as bait

Words Nearby whitebait

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How to use whitebait in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for whitebait


/ (ˈwaɪtˌbeɪt) /

  1. the young of herrings, sprats, etc, cooked and eaten whole as a delicacy

  2. any of various small silvery fishes, such as Galaxias attenuatus of Australia and New Zealand and Allosmerus elongatus of North American coastal regions of the Pacific

Origin of whitebait

C18: from its formerly having been used as bait

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