A herring is a small, silver fish. Most herring that's caught for food is prepared by being smoked, salted, or pickled.

The majority of herring is caught in the Atlantic, though the fish is found in both the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans. Because it's very high in the famously healthy Omega-3 fats, herring is considered a healthful fish for people to eat. Herrings is also used as bait for catching larger fish. Although the source of the word herring is uncertain, many experts see a link to the Old English har, or "gray."

Definitions of herring
  1. noun
    commercially important food fish of northern waters of both Atlantic and Pacific
    synonyms: Clupea harangus
    see moresee less
    Atlantic herring, Clupea harengus harengus
    important food fish; found in enormous shoals in the northern Atlantic
    Clupea harengus pallasii, Pacific herring
    important food fish of the northern Pacific
    type of:
    food fish
    any fish used for food by human beings
    clupeid, clupeid fish
    any of numerous soft-finned schooling food fishes of shallow waters of northern seas
  2. noun
    valuable flesh of fatty fish from shallow waters of northern Atlantic or Pacific; usually salted or pickled
    see moresee less
    show 7 types...
    hide 7 types...
    kipper, kippered herring
    salted and smoked herring
    large fatty herring lightly salted and briefly smoked
    pickled herring
    herring preserved in a pickling liquid (usually brine or vinegar)
    red herring, smoked herring
    a dried and smoked herring having a reddish color
    brisling, sprat
    small fatty European fish; usually smoked or canned like sardines
    minnows or other small fresh- or saltwater fish (especially herring); usually cooked whole
    a pickled herring filet that has been rolled or wrapped around a pickle
    type of:
    saltwater fish
    flesh of fish from the sea used as food
Word Family