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

Share sardines, octopus, mussels, meatballs, spicy Lebanese potatoes, and other unusual mezze. Sheryl Julian,, "Lively Ilona in the South End offers small plates from Eastern Mediterranean cuisines," 1 Aug. 2019 No harm, no foul Despite their impressive size, humpback whales are filter feeders who gulp down krill and other plankton, as well as small fish like sardines, juvenile salmon, and herring. Sarah Keartes, National Geographic, "How a humpback whale ended up with a sea lion in its mouth," 30 July 2019 And while there isn’t much in the way of a waterfront restaurant scene in the city proper, the freshest seafood (like sardines prepared in a variety of ways), is widely available and worth seeking out. Wendy Ramunno, USA TODAY, "Tasting tour of Italy’s Friuli-Venezia Giulia: Coffee, wine, prosciutto, cheese & more," 24 July 2019 Traffic is awful; BART is stuffed like a sardine can; bureaucrats keep telling us to ‘spare the air’ and stop driving; and p.s. Patrick May, The Mercury News, "Bay Area renters’ giant game of musical chairs plays out online," 8 July 2019 That marine heat wave from 2014 to 2016 affected the abundance of forage fish including sardines, which are food for larger fish and marine mammals, as well as commercial catch in their own right. San Diego Union-Tribune, "West Coast fisheries plan looks at whole ocean ecosystem," 3 July 2019 Often more expensive than flying, both in terms of cash and time, passengers are now looking to capitalize on the romance and relative comfort of rail over a sardine tin in the sky. Natasha Frost, Quartzy, "An Austrian Twitter account chronicles the best food on trains," 6 July 2019 Generally, the oilier ocean fish (like salmon, mackerel, and sardines) tend to be higher in omega-3 while the milder fish and and shellfish are lower. Nutrition Diva Monica Reinagel, Scientific American, "Are Omega-3 Eggs as Good as Eating Fish?," 20 June 2019 In the Mediterranean samples there were rock gobies, horse mackerel and sardines. The Economist, "Using sponges to census the ocean," 5 June 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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Dictionary Entries near sardine



Sardian nut


sardine oil



Statistics for sardine

Last Updated

17 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for sardine

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

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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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sardine

Spanish Central: Translation of sardine

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

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


to shake or wave menacingly

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