Definition of herring
1 : either of two food fishes (genus Clupeus):a : one (C. harengus) that is abundant in the temperate and colder parts of the North Atlantic and that in the adult state is preserved by smoking or salting and in the young state is extensively canned and sold as sardinesb : one (C. pallasi synonym C. h. pallasi) of the North Pacific harvested especially for its roe
2 : any of a large family (Clupeidae) of soft-finned bony fishes (such as the herrings, shads, sardines, and menhadens) that have a laterally compressed body and a forked tail and usually occur in schools
Recent Examples of herring from the Web
Aim for two servings of fatty fish, which also include herring, mackerel and sardines, two times a week, Sotnick said.
These references end up feeling like red herrings: Vendetta is too vague to pack much political punch.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'herring'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of herring
Middle English hering, from Old English hǣring; akin to Old High German hārinc herring
First Known Use: before 12th century
HERRING Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of herring for English Language Learners
: a fish that lives in the northern Atlantic Ocean and is often eaten as food
HERRING Defined for Kids
Definition of herring for Students
: a fish of the northern Atlantic Ocean that is often used for food
Seen and Heard
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