herring

play
noun her·ring \ˈher-iŋ, ˈhe-riŋ\

Definition of herring

plural

herring

or

herrings

  1. 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. 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

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


HERRING Defined for English Language Learners

herring

play
noun

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

herring

play
noun her·ring \ˈher-iŋ\

Definition of herring for Students

  1. :  a fish of the northern Atlantic Ocean that is often used for food



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