noun \sär-ˈdēn\

: a very small fish that is used for food and is usually packed in a can

plural sardines also sardine

Full Definition of SARDINE

:  any of several small or immature fishes of the herring family; especially :  the European pilchard (Sardina pilchardus) especially when young and of a size suitable for preserving for food
:  any of various small fishes (as an anchovy) resembling the true sardines or similarly preserved for food

Origin of SARDINE

Middle English sardeine, from Anglo-French, from Latin sardina
First Known Use: 14th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of certain species of small (6–12 in., or 15–30 cm, long) food fishes of the herring family (Clupeidae), especially in the genera Sardina, Sardinops, and Sardinella. The common herring (Clupea harengus) is found throughout the North Atlantic. The five species of Sardinops live in the Pacific and Indian oceans. Sardines are small, silvery, slender fishes with a single short dorsal fin and no scales on the head. They live in dense schools, migrating along the coast. They are usually fished with an encircling net, particularly the purse seine, and mainly at night, when they surface to feed on plankton. See also pilchard, sprat.


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