Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small, herringlike marine fish of the family Engraulidae, especially the European fish (Engraulis encrasicholus), widely used in appetizers and various dishes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any small saltwater fish of the Engraulidae family, consisting of 160 species in 16 genera, of which the genus Engraulis is widely sold as food.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small fish, about three inches in length, of the Herring family (Engraulis encrasicholus), caught in vast numbers in the Mediterranean, and pickled for exportation. The name is also applied to several allied species.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An abdominal malacopterygious fish, of the genus Stolephorus or Engraulis, family Stolephoridæ.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. tiny fishes usually canned or salted; used for hors d'oeuvres or as seasoning in sauces
  • n. small herring-like plankton-eating fishes often canned whole or as paste; abundant in tropical waters worldwide

Etymologies

Spanish anchova, possibly from Vulgar Latin *apiuva, ultimately from Greek aphuē.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Spanish anchova, perhaps ultimately from Basque. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It is sold in little glass vials, sometimes under the label anchovy extract or syrup, whose instructions advise you to toss it with pasta, garlic, red pepper, and olive oil.

    The Kitchn

  • You can always saute the crumbs with butter (adding a bit of minced garlic or anchovy is also good) if you want further toasting before using them as a pasta or casserole topping or whatever.

    I'll Never Buy Breadcrumbs Again

  • Their target is the larger "industrial" vessels, after a "vertiginous fall" in anchovy catches in the Bay of Biscay.

    Frog eats Frog

  • This was known as the anchovy, but oftener as the candle-fish; it is so fat that it may be burned like a torch, or candle.

    First Across the Continent; The Story of The Exploring Expedition of Lewis and Clark in 1804-5-6

  • Boquerones are a kind of anchovy, usually served in vinegar rather than oil, but this is not quite the way to say it.

    11 posts from April 2010

  • For example, the blooms of jellyfish that have increased rapidly worldwide in the last decade are believed to result in part from “fishing down the food web” – as fisheries depleted large predators they turned to smaller, plankton-feeding fishes such as anchovy and sprat, whose removal allowed zooplankton populations to increase, providing abundant food for jellyfish.

    Marine biodiversity and food security

  • DRM doesn't work and consumers don't want it, so of course it's very appealing to big business, who are also in a big rush to sell other, equally practical products, such as anchovy flavored ice cream and bicycles with square wheels.

    Boing Boing: February 8, 2004 - February 14, 2004 Archives

  • Zests are sometimes served at the close of the dessert; such as anchovy toasts or biscuits.

    The Book of Household Management

  • With wild marine fish stocks on the decline, feeding salmon with pellets made from fish such as anchovy is ...

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  • Raising these species is an exercise in "reducing" fish to produce fish-that is, in turning certain fish, usually smaller species such as anchovy, herring, capelin, and whiting, into feed for other, typically larger, species.

    Environmental Valuation & Cost-Benefit News

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Comments

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  • Railroad telegraphers' shorthand for "Can it be altered?" --US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 20, 2013

  • Who knows how to plait a hair-sieve these days?

    January 5, 2012

  • Wanted: Long-haired anchovy lover for evening of fish pounding and mixture simmering. Must like cayenne pepper.

    January 5, 2012

  • I'd just throw up a craigslist ad. I bet there are more long-haired anchovy lovers in your town than you think. I'd offer my own hair - I'm due to have my ears lowered - but the quantity would only suffice for a thimble-sized sieve, and thus for a ramekin's worth of the fishy elixir.

    January 5, 2012

  • I'm trying to imagine how I'd start that particular conversation. Any advice?

    January 5, 2012

  • Then you should make one of those, too. You must know somebody who needs a haircut. Offer to let them have some of the anchovy sauce if they donate their locks.

    January 5, 2012

  • I would, of course, except I'm fresh out of hair sieves.

    January 5, 2012

  • That sounds horrible. You should make it, ruzuzu.

    January 5, 2012

  • I like this bit from the Century: "A sauce held in much esteem is made from anchovies by pounding them in water, simmering the mixture for a short time, adding a little cayenne pepper, and straining the whole through a hair sieve."

    January 5, 2012