oxford views updated May 18 2018
min·now / ˈminō/ •
n. a small freshwater Eurasian cyprinoid fish (Phoxinus phoxinus, family Cyprinidae) that typically forms large shoals. ∎ any fish of the minnow family (Cyprinidae), the largest family of fishes, which includes carps, shiners, spinefins, squawfishes, chubs, daces, and stonerollers. ∎ used in names of similar small freshwater fishes, e.g., topminnow. ∎ a person or organization of relatvely small size, power, or influence.ORIGIN: late Middle English: probably related to German Münne.
oxford views updated May 17 2018
XV. Early form menow
, later minew
, perh. orig. repr. OE. *mynwe
(beside recorded OE. myne
) = OHG. muniwa
, but infl. by ME. menuse
— OF. menuise
:- Rom. *minūtia
n. pl. small objects (cf. MINUTIAE
oxford views updated May 23 2018
this small freshwater fish, which typically forms large shoals, is often taken as the type of something which though great in number is weak in strength.
See also Triton of the minnows
oxford views updated May 29 2018
Subfamily of freshwater fish found in temperate and tropical regions. It includes shiners, dace, chub, tench, and bream. The term includes small fish of the genera Phoxinus and Leuciscus. Length: 4–46cm (1.5–18in). Family Cyprinidae.