sar·​dine | \sär-ˈdēn \
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

Dishes like baby lettuces with pickled sardines, tomato consommé and lemon oil; and savory French toast with squid ink, lentils and egg yolk, will be served à la carte or as part of a five-course tasting menu for $85. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, "Restaurant With Focus on Baijiu Opens in East Village," 17 Apr. 2018 Most of the yellowtail finding the deck of the San Diego, Bostian said, are being hooked while fly-lining sardines. Bryce Miller,, "'Biggest schools of yellowtail I've ever seen' invade Coronado Islands," 22 June 2018 Think mackerel, sardines, anchovies: fish that are more plentiful in the summertime. Natalie B. Compton, GQ, "How to Grill Like a Chef This Summer," 31 May 2018 Also good: mackerel, halibut, sardines, tuna, shrimp and scallops. Allison Horton, miamiherald, "Want to reduce your odds of getting cancer? Stay active, lose weight and eat healthy," 25 May 2018 During the broadcast, while Cooper was conversing with correspondent Gary Tuchman who was reporting from Eastport, Maine, Tuchman referenced a town tradition where the locals kiss an eight-foot sardine sculpture. Fox News, "Kathy Griffin's most outrageous moments: From Trump photo shoot to stripping on live TV," 19 June 2018 There have been some salmon moving up, too, and being caught on sardine fillets. sacbee, "Fishing line: Lake Tahoe is full, the Delta is dirty and several rivers close | The Sacramento Bee," 9 Apr. 2018 Catfishing is improving with anchovies, frozen shad, or sardines, while a few trout have been caught. sacbee, "Fishing line: Striper action takes off near Colusa and on Feather River | The Sacramento Bee," 23 Apr. 2018 In Britain, where higher passenger numbers often mean sardine-like commutes, the mistake was to give rail franchises to firms which then have a near-monopoly for the duration of their contract. The Economist, "Why Europe’s train network needs more, not less, competition," 28 June 2018

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

26 Oct 2018

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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 \

Kids Definition of sardine

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

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Comments on sardine

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


obstinately defiant of authority

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