Definition of stockfish in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈstɒkfɪʃ/

noun (plural same or stockfishes)

1A commercially valuable hake of coastal waters of southern Africa.
  • Merluccius capensis, family Merlucciidae
Example sentences
  • Elf, called shad in KwaZuluNatal, are streamlined, silvery, olive-green fish sought after by anglers, but hake often called stockfish, is South Africa's most popular table fish.
2 [mass noun] Cod or a similar fish split and dried in the open air without salt.
Example sentences
  • To be brief, both salt cod and stockfish have their origins in early medieval times.
  • Thomas had already, in May 1332, obtained a protection to assist him in taking 500 quarters of wheat to Norway to trade for stockfish, and he obtained similar export licences in March 1333 and January 1335.
  • In 1333 he and an associate were described as ‘king's merchants’ when licensed to take corn to Norway to trade for stockfish.’


Middle English (in sense 2): from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch stokvisch, of unknown origin; sense 1 (early 19th century) from South African Dutch.

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.