AskDefine | Define bonito

Dictionary Definition



1 flesh of mostly Pacific food fishes of the genus Sarda of the family Scombridae; related to but smaller than tuna
2 fish whose flesh is dried and flaked for Japanese cookery; may be same species as skipjack tuna [syn: oceanic bonito, Katsuwonus pelamis]
3 any of various scombroid fishes intermediate in size and characteristics between mackerels and tunas [also: bonitoes (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



bonito (plural bonito or bonitos)
  1. Any of various marine fish of the genus Sarda, that are related to and resemble the tuna.
  2. A large tropical fish, the skipjack, allied to the tunny, Katsuwonus pelamis or Orcynus pelamys.


See also



From Latin bonus


  1. Pretty, lovely.


  1. Various species of fish related to or sharing resemblance with the tuna, such as the albacore and the frigate tuna.



Diminutive of bueno; see -ito


  1. pretty, lovely

Extensive Definition

otheruse Bonito Bonito is a name given to various species of medium-sized, predatory fish of the genus Sarda, in the mackerel family, including the common or Atlantic bonito (Sarda sarda) and the Pacific bonito.
More generally, bonito can refer to any of various scombroid fishes related to but smaller than tuna.
In Japanese cuisine outside Japan, "bonito" usually refers to the skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis), which is known as katsuo in Japan. This fish is smoked and dried to make katsuobushi, an important ingredient in making dashi (Japanese fish stock), used extensively in Japanese cuisine.
Pacific and Atlantic bonito meat has a firm texture and a darkish color. The meat of young or small bonito can be of lighter color, close to that of skipjack tuna, and is sometimes used as a cheaper substitute of skipjack, especially for canning purposes. Bonito may not be marketed as tuna in all countries, however. The bonito has a moderate fat content.


bonito in Asturian: Sarda
bonito in Spanish: Sarda
bonito in French: Sarda
bonito in Swedish: Bonito
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