Definition of hake in US English:



  • 1A large-headed elongated fish with long jaws and strong teeth. It is a valuable commercial food fish.

    Family Merlucciidae and genus Merluccius: several species

    • ‘Some of the fish should be firm-fleshed and gelatinous like halibut, eel, and winter flounder, and some tender and flaky like hake, baby cod, small pollock, and lemon sole.’
    • ‘But if you can't find the best cod, then use chunky hake, haddock or sea bass fillets instead.’
    • ‘Fish such as hake, cod, tuna, swordfish, sole and sea bass could be on-grown by a ship restocking Spanish waters according to those behind the project.’
    • ‘The bulletin said the contraction during the fourth quarter was reflected in the species such as demersal hake, horse mackerel and rock lobster.’
    • ‘The name, originally a German word, was a general one for any dried white fish, most often cod, but also pollack, whiting, hake, and others.’
    • ‘The main catches have been monk, megs, hake whiting and haddock.’
    • ‘It is only found in the muscles of amphibians and many fish species such as hake, yellowtail and pilchard.’
    • ‘Not only will the cuts apply to cod but will apply also to associated species such as whiting, haddock, sole, saithe, monk, plaice, prawns, hake and megrim.’
    • ‘Except for the poor appearance of the very valuable demersal species, hake, monk, kingklip and sole, the vessels also experience a lot of trouble with the ever-growing number of seals in Namibian waters.’
    • ‘The only other fish with three distinct dorsal fins are hakes and cods.’
    • ‘Experts want a total ban on cod, whiting and hake fishing in the Irish Sea, a measure that would affect about a fifth of the Irish fishing industry.’
    • ‘The latest hamper included fresh turbot, hake and cod from Aberdeen Fish Market as well as Arbroath Smokies, smoked salmon and kippers.’
    • ‘The main species harvested are hake, horse mackerel and pilchard, whilst other species such as monk, anchovy, tuna and sole also contribute to this sector.’
    • ‘Ask your fishmonger what is best for grilling at this time of year - some suggestions are salmon, haddock, tuna, trout, hake, cod.’
    • ‘Other species to be avoided include hake, monkfish, halibut, skate, blue ling, sea bass and shark because they are all threatened species, the guide says.’
    • ‘But what about a bigger selection of cheaper, often neglected but worthwhile fish such as skate, squid, hake, ultra-fresh mackerel, even good old herring?’
    • ‘The bulk of the diet of large congers is made up of small fish, from cod and hake in deep water to mackerel and herring in shallow water.’
    • ‘The hake industry is, commercially, the most valuable fishing industry in Namibia.’
    • ‘Experts warn that continued intensive fishing would mean stocks of cod as well as other popular fish like hake and haddock might never recover.’
    • ‘Cod, hake, whiting, mackerel and skate as well as shellfish were pulled from the sea.’
  • 2Any of a number of fishes related to the true hakes.

    Species in several families, especially in the northwestern Atlantic genus Urophycis (family Phycidae)

    • ‘Asked for his comment, he said it was true that many of South Africa's quality products ranging from hake to chokka to fruit were exported for high prices.’
    • ‘Like all export related industries, the hake industry has been negatively affected by the strong local currency reducing the amount of money earned.’
    • ‘They resemble the true hakes in having two dorsal fins and one anal fin and no barbel.’
    • ‘Contraventions of the act related to catching crayfish, hake and toothfish without a permit and offloading catches without inspectors present.’


Middle English: perhaps from Old English haca ‘hook’.