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 But now, trying to fit 21 in suddenly felt similar to a sardine can. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Wary of COVID-19, Utah teachers measure the space between desks. In one class, there’s only 20 inches.," 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, "The Supermarket Is One of America’s Best Ideas," 17 June 2020 Low-cost airlines that pack you in like a sardine will go under first, because their economics only work when the plane is filled to capacity. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "6 Pilots on the Future of the Once-Glamorous Job," 10 June 2020 Plus, as far as seafood goes, anchovies, sardines, mackerel, and other little fellas are among the most sustainable options. Mackenzie Fegan, Bon Appétit, "Where To Buy Tinned and Cured Fish Online," 21 May 2020 Cars were packed like sardines on Seawall Boulevard as people headed to Galveston's beaches this weekend. Abigail Rosenthal, Houston Chronicle, "Thousands headed to Galveston as beaches reopened over the weekend," 4 May 2020 No sooner had Londoners widely started to heed government advice to avoid unnecessary travel than Mr. Khan stepped in to make sure those who do venture out still must cram next to each other like sardines. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Coronavirus Goes Underground," 29 Mar. 2020 Tailings: fish scraps recovered from sardine or anchovy canneries to be used in fish feed and other products. Adam Skolnick, Longreads, "The Poke Paradox," 12 Feb. 2020 The best part would be standing out there by himself, miles from this sardine can with its warring smells of perfume, sweat, and hair spray. David Canfield,, "Stephen King's The Institute is out now. Read this juicy excerpt first," 10 Sep. 2019

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for sardine

Last Updated

28 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sardine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for sardine


How to pronounce sardine (audio)

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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