sand lance


: any of several small elongate marine bony fishes (genus Ammodytes of the family Ammodytidae) that associate in large schools and remain buried in sandy beaches at ebb tide

called also sand eel, sand launce

Examples of sand lance in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Puffins spend most of their lives at sea, eating small fish, less than six inches long, such as sand lance and herring. USA TODAY, 25 Feb. 2024 By mid-July of this year, the sand lance had disappeared and the puffins switched to haddock, hake and redfish. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Sep. 2023 However, a small eel-like fish called the sand lance has been abundant this year. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 31 Aug. 2023 One fish, though — the sand lance — has remained in abundance this year, allowing puffins to thrive, said Don Lyons, director of conservation science at National Audubon Society’s Seabird Institute in Bremen, Maine. Patrick Whittle,, 29 Aug. 2023 The warmer ocean has probably caused nutrient-rich fish like sand lance and capelin to decline. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Dec. 2022 Of particular concern are king salmon and silver salmon, which feed on sand lance, a type of fish known to absorb algal toxins. Yereth Rosen, Anchorage Daily News, 23 June 2022 The limited sand lance research that exists cannot fully explain Scherer’s experience., 26 Sep. 2019 Another worrisome impact of climate change, according to the report, is that warmer waters in the Sound could see small forage fish like young shad, river herring and sand lances leave for colder waters. Gregory B. Hladky,, 5 Dec. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sand lance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1776, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sand lance was in 1776

Dictionary Entries Near sand lance

Cite this Entry

“Sand lance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

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