/smelt/, v.t.1. to fuse or melt (ore) in order to separate the metal contained.2. to obtain or refine (metal) in this way.[1535-45; prob. < MD or MLG smelten; c. G schmelzen to MELT1, smelt]smelt2/smelt/, n., pl. (esp. collectively) smelt, (esp. referring to two or more kinds or species) smelts.1. any of various small, silvery food fishes of the family Osmeridae, of cold northern waters, as the North American rainbow smelt, Osmerus mordax.2. any of several superficially similar but unrelated fishes, esp. certain silversides, of California.[bef. 900; ME, OE; cf. Norw smelta whiting]smelt3/smelt/, v.a pt. and pp. of smell.
* * *Any of certain slender, silvery, carnivorous, food fishes (family Osmeridae) having a small fleshy fin.Smelts live in cold northern seas, and most species spawn a short distance upstream. The American smelt (Osmerus mordax), introduced from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes, is the largest smelt, about 15 in. (38 cm) long. The European smelt (O. eperlanus) is similar. Among Pacific species are the rainbow herring, capelin, and eulachon, or candlefish, which is so oily at spawning time that it can be dried and burned as a candle. Silversides (see grunion) and other unrelated fishes are sometimes called smelts.
* * *▪ Osmeridaeany of certain silvery, chiefly marine food fishes, family Osmeridae, closely related to salmon and trout and found in cold northern waters. Smelts, like trout, have a small, adipose (fleshy) fin. They are slender carnivores and spawn short distances upstream, in the surf or in ponds.The American smelt (Osmerus mordax) has been introduced from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes and supports a sizable commercial fishery. The largest smelt, about 37.5 cm (15 inches) long, spawns in late winter or spring, its sticky eggs adhering to objects they touch. The European smelt (O. eperlanus) is similar.Among related Pacific species are the rainbow herring (O. dentex), surf smelt (Hypomesus pretiosus), capelin (Mallotus villosus), and eulachon, or candlefish (Thaleichthys pacificus), a fish that at spawning time is so oily that it can be dried and burned as a candle.The silversides and other unrelated fishes are sometimes also called smelts.
* * *