sar·​dine sär-ˈdēn How to pronounce sardine (audio)
plural sardines also 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 (such as an anchovy) resembling the true sardines or similarly preserved for food

Examples of sardine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web These days the sardines are fished out and there are one-third as many residents as in 1870, the end of the sailing age. Kevin West, Travel + Leisure, 5 May 2024 The dinner theme harkened back to a sardine motif used throughout Staud’s latest collection, with scallop crudo, clams, and woven boquerones as just a few offerings on the menu. Jamila Stewart, Vogue, 1 Mar. 2024 Sardines Calcium content: 351 mg in one 3.75-oz can of sardines, or 35.1% of the DV24 These salty little fish add umami flavor to salads and pastas. Christine Mattheis, Health, 30 Mar. 2024 Top tip: The migration also coincides with the Sardine Run, between May and July, where the sardines spawn in the South African waters, attracting super-pods of whales and dolphins, diving birds and even sharks. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, 11 Jan. 2024 Who wouldn’t appreciate a pantry gift box stocked with food and crafts from California and Mexico, an elegant (and portable) coffee grinder, fish tongs for all those trendy sardine tins, fancy tomatoes or a mug that’s also a work of art? L.a. Times Food Staff, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2023 Cold water fatty fish – remember the SMASH acronym: salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring – are the best sources of omega-3s, but vegetarians or vegans can get their fix from flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts. Georgia Day, Glamour, 12 Mar. 2024 Soda, chips, crackers and sardines are also available for purchase. Brianna Taylor, Sacramento Bee, 7 Mar. 2024 This photo shows the very moment of attack, with the whale’s ventral pleats wide open and filtering the prey from the water using their baleens after engulfing hundreds of kilograms of sardines in one bite. Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2024

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

Word History


Middle English sardeine, from Anglo-French, from Latin sardina

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sardine was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near sardine

Cite this Entry

“Sardine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


sar·​dine sär-ˈdēn How to pronounce sardine (audio)
plural sardines also sardine
: any of various young or very small fish often preserved in oil for food

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