• WordNet 3.6
    • n whitebait the edible young of especially herrings and sprats and smelts
    • n whitebait minnows or other small fresh- or saltwater fish (especially herring); usually cooked whole
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Whitebait (Zoöl) The young of several species of herrings, especially of the common herring, esteemed a great delicacy by epicures in England.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n whitebait A name used in New Zealand for the young fry of Galaxias attenuatus, a fish of the family Galaxidæ; also the young of the New Zealand smelt, Retropinna Richardsonii.
    • n whitebait A small clupeoid fish, prized as a delicacy in England. Whitebait are best when from 2 or 3 inches long, but retain the name up to a size of 4 or 5 inches. They abound in the estuary of the Thames and in other similar British localities at certain seasons. The fishing begins in April, and lasts through the summer; the fishes are taken in bag-nets. They are chiefly of a silvery-white color inclining to a pale-greenish on the back. Some places in England, as especially Greenwich, are famous for their whitebait dinners. The fish are usually fried till they are crisp. The identity of whitebait has been much discussed and disputed. They have been supposed to be a distinct species, named Clupea alba, and even placed in a genus framed for their reception as Rogenia alba. They have been more generally recognized as the fry of certain clupeoids, as the sprat (Clupea sprattus), the herring (C. harengus), and the shad (of one or another of the British species). But careful examinations of great quantities of whitebait, made in different localities at different times, have shown these opinions to be more or less erroneous. Whitebait consists in fact of the fry of several different clupeoid fishes, mainly the sprat and the herring, with occasionally a small percentage of yet other fishes; and the relative quantity of the different species represented varies, moreover, according to season and locality.
    • n whitebait A Chinese salmonoid fish, Salanx sinensis. See Salanx.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Whitebait the name by which the fry of the herring and sprat are known in the market, and when served for the table, esp. in London
    • ***


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. hwít; Ice. hvitr, Ger. weiss.


In literature:

These worms were generally grilled on hot stones, and eaten several at a time like small whitebait.
"The Adventures of Louis de Rougemont as told by Himself" by Louis de Rougemont
The sauce is the main thing with whitebait.
"Options" by O. Henry
He ordered himself, too, the very dinner the boy had always chosen-soup, whitebait, cutlets, and a tart.
"The Forsyte Saga, Volume I." by John Galsworthy
This whitebait is n't fit for cats!
"The Island Pharisees" by John Galsworthy
How frightfully embarrassing to meet a whole shoal of whitebait you had last known at Prince's!
"Reginald" by Saki
There are only baby whitebaits.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 159, September 15, 1920" by Various
Wash the whitebait in ice-water, drain, wipe dry, dip in milk, then in equal parts of cracker dust and seasoned flour.
"How to Cook Fish" by Olive Green
Fried oysters and whitebait.
"In Africa" by John T. McCutcheon
Nor must we omit honourable mention of lobster, whitebait, mullet and eels.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, April 15, 1914" by Various
Never mind the whitebait now, sweet'eart, when we're going to be spliced this afternoon.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 146, April 29, 1914" by Various

In news:

Effluent with your whitebait.
Effluent with your whitebait .
Whitebait festival runs at $100k loss.