noun \ˈma-k(ə-)rəl\

: a large fish that lives in the northern Atlantic Ocean and is often eaten as food

plural mackerel or mackerels

Full Definition of MACKEREL

:  a scombroid fish (Scomber scombrus of the family Scombridae) of the North Atlantic that is green above with dark blue bars and silvery below and is a commercially important food fish
:  any of various fishes (as the wahoo and king mackerel) in the same family as the mackerel especially when distinguished from the related bonito or tuna by a comparatively smaller size

Illustration of MACKEREL

Origin of MACKEREL

Middle English makerel, from Anglo-French
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with MACKEREL


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Swift-moving, carnivorous, torpedo-shaped food and sport fishes (family Scombridae, order Perciformes) of temperate and tropical seas worldwide. Mackerels are 1–5.5 ft (30–170 cm) long. The common mackerel (Scomber scombrus) of the North Atlantic Ocean and the chub mackerel (S. colias) of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans are economically important, as are the Indian mackerels (genus Rastrelliger) and the frigate mackerels (genus Auxis). Other species (genus Scomberomorus) are favourite game fish. The name mackerel also refers to certain shark species (see mackerel shark), tuna, and bonito.


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