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 sardines b :  one (C. pallasi syn. 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 (as the herrings, shads, sardines, and menhadens) that have a laterally compressed body and a forked tail and usually occur in schools

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

herring

play
noun her·ring \ˈher-iŋ, ˈhe-riŋ\

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


Learn More about herring


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up herring? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to trick or confuse (someone)

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • alphabet-magnets
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ