sardine

A sardine is a very small, oily fish. You might like to eat sardines on toast for lunch. If you do, we suggest an after-lunch mint may be in order.

Sardines are most often bought canned, lined up in rows in little tins. The word sardine is actually a general term — it refers to a type of fish, most often a small herring, while a slightly larger one is sometimes called a pilchard. The phrase "packed like sardines," describing people crowded together in a tight spot like an elevator or a subway car, comes from the way sardines look in cans. The word itself comes from the Mediterranean island Sardinia.

Definitions of sardine
  1. noun
    small fishes found in great schools along coasts of Europe; smaller and rounder than herring
    synonyms: Sardina pilchardus, pilchard
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    types:
    Pacific sardine, Sardinops caerulea
    small pilchards common off the pacific coast of North America
    type of:
    clupeid, clupeid fish
    any of numerous soft-finned schooling food fishes of shallow waters of northern seas
  2. noun
    any of various small edible herring or related food fishes frequently canned
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    types:
    sild
    any of various young herrings (other than brislings) canned as sardines in Norway
    Clupea sprattus, brisling, sprat
    small herring processed like a sardine
    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
  3. noun
    small fatty fish usually canned
    synonyms: pilchard
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    type of:
    saltwater fish
    flesh of fish from the sea used as food
  4. noun
    a deep orange-red variety of chalcedony
    synonyms: sard, sardius
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    type of:
    calcedony, chalcedony
    a milky or greyish translucent to transparent quartz
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