- a young sprat or herring.
- Cookery. any small, delicate fish cooked whole without being cleaned, especially the sprat.
Origin of whitebait
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for whitebait
Here the ministry at the close of the session has its annual whitebait dinner.England, Picturesque and Descriptive
Whitebait are no longer kept in the Round Pond at Kensington.
Pay for you at Blackwall, and the whitebait will disappear by the thousand.
The dinner was abominably long, but the whitebait was excellent.Letters to an Unknown
Asked for whitebait, he destroyed the illusion in which we had come at a blow.London Films
William Dean Howells
- the young of herrings, sprats, etc, cooked and eaten whole as a delicacy
- 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
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