American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of several widely distributed marine fishes of the family Scombridae, especially the Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus), an important food fish having dark wavy bars on the back and a silvery belly.
- n. Any of the smaller fishes of the suborder Scombroidea, such as the Spanish mackerel.
- n. Any of various similar fishes.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One of several different fishes of the family Scombridæ, and especially any fish of the genus Scomber. The common mackerel, S. scombrus, is one of the best-known and most important of food-fishes, inhabiting the North Atlantic on both sides. It attains a length of 18 inches, though usually less; it is lustrous dark-blue above, with many wavy blackish cross-streaks, and is silvery below, with the base of the pectorals dark. The Easter, tinker, or chub mackerel is a closely related species, S. pneumatophorus, so called from possessing a small air-bladder which is lacking in S. scombrus; it is found in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The big-eyed, bull, or coly mackerel is S. colias, a variety of the last, locally named Spanish mackerel in England. The Spanish mackerel of the United States is a scombrid of a different genus, Scombero-morus maculatus, of both coasts of North America, north to Cape Cod and California. It is one of the most valued food-fishes, reaching a considerable size, bluish and silvery above, with bright reflections, the sides with many rounded bronzed spots, the spinous dorsal fin white at base, dark above and anteriorly. Other mackerel of this genus are the cero, S. regalis, and the sierra, S. caballa. Frigate-mackerels are scombrids of the genus Auxis, as A. thazard or A. rochei, of less value as food-fish. The horse-mackerel properly so called is the tunny, Orcynus thynnus, the largest of the scombrids, sometimes attaining a length of over 10 feet and a weight of half a ton, found on both sides of the Atlantic; but this name is extended to various other fishes. (See
horse-mackerel.) Several carangoid fishes are loosely called mackerel, as the yellow mackerel, Caranx chrysos. (See mackerel-scad.) The bluefish or skipper, Po-matomus saltatrix, is sometimes called snapping-mackerel.
- n. The bonito, Sarda chilensis.
- n. The common mackerel of next to the smallest of the four commercial sizes (large, seconds, tinkers, blinks), which are supposed to indicate respectively four, three, two, and one years of growth.
- n. (See also frigate-mackerel.)
- To fish for or catch mackerel; go on a mackerel voyage.
- n. A pander or pimp.
- n. In Australia, a fish, Scomber antarcticus, Castln., similar to the chub mackerel, Scomber Japonicus, Houttuyn; in New Zealand, Scomber australasious, Cuv. and Val.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. obsolete A pimp; also, a bawd.
- n. (Zoöl.) Any species of the genus Scomber of the family
Scombridae, and of several related genera. They are finely formed and very active oceanic fishes. Most of them are highly prized for food.
- n. flesh of very important usually small (to 18 in) fatty Atlantic fish
- n. any of various fishes of the family Scombridae
- From Old French maquerel, from a Germanic source. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English makerel, from Old French maquerel. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Another problem with mackerel is that once a prisoner's sentence is up, there's little to do with it -- the fish can't be redeemed for cash, and has little value on the outside.”
“The sky was what is called a mackerel sky—rows and rows of faint down-plumes of cloud, just tinted with the midsummer sunset.”
“Gavin and Grandad were fishing for mackerel from the harbor wall when the seal popped its head out of the water.”
“The sky was what is called a mackerel sky – rows and rows of faint down-plumes of cloud, just tinted with the midsummer sunset.”
“The sky was what is called a mackerel sky — rows and rows of faint down-plumes of cloud, just tinted with the midsummer sunset.”
“Saba, otherwise known as mackerel, is a staple for me.”
“This latter method of splitting is known as mackerel splitting.”
“Scilly Isles, I saw an even more remarkable duel between a porbeagle -- as the Cornish people call the mackerel-shark -- and a pipit, in which, strange to relate, the bird came off victorious.”
“The sky was what is called a mackerel sky -- rows and rows of faint down-plumes of cloud, just tinted with the midsummer sunset.”
“For mackerel, which is a surface and midwater fish, they are much shorter, so that the headrope lies just below the top of the water.”
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