sar·​dine | \ sär-ˈdēn How to pronounce sardine (audio) \
plural sardines also sardine

Definition of sardine

1 : 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
2 : 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 Schrader draws them together by staging a right-wing hotel-expo encounter between Tell and his former overseer at Abu Ghraib, Major John Gordo, played by Willem Dafoe as a skeevy opportunist with a mustache like a giant sardine. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 2 Sep. 2021 François was hooked on aquatics after a childhood encounter with a sardine in a tide pool., 12 Aug. 2021 Who likes being trapped in a sardine can with hundreds of other passengers, lifted some 30,000 feet above sea level? Richard Galant, CNN, 8 Aug. 2021 Before the pandemic, New Yorkers wore the sacrifice of being packed like a sardine in a rush-hour train as a badge of honor. Stephanie Cain, Fortune, 8 May 2021 The idea is to tease the roosters into a feeding frenzy and then cast a sardine with a hook in its head into the carnage. Nate Matthews, Field & Stream, 7 Dec. 2020 The less exciting method is to just troll off the back of the boat, one sardine to a rod, one rod per angler. Nate Matthews, Field & Stream, 7 Dec. 2020 But now, trying to fit 21 in suddenly felt similar to a sardine can. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, 23 Aug. 2020 These vintage sardines taste like a sardine that God made and gave to you, personally … Olive oil, olive oil, olive oil. Bianca Bosker, The Atlantic, 17 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sardine.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sardine

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sardine

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

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Time Traveler for sardine

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

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Dictionary Entries Near sardine

Sardian nut


sardine oil

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Last Updated

10 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sardine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for sardine



English Language Learners Definition of sardine

: a very small fish that is used for food and is usually packed in a can


sar·​dine | \ sär-ˈdēn How to pronounce sardine (audio) \

Kids Definition of sardine

: a young or very small fish often preserved in oil and used for food

More from Merriam-Webster on sardine

Nglish: Translation of sardine for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about sardine


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