Definitions

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

  • n. Any of various small or half-grown edible herrings or related fishes of the family Clupeidae, frequently canned in oil or water, especially the pilchard of European waters.
  • n. Any of numerous small, silvery, edible freshwater or marine fishes unrelated to the sardine.
  • transitive v. Slang To pack tightly; cram: "The bars are sardined with hungry hopefuls” ( Gael Greene).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any one of several small species of herring which are commonly preserved in olive oil or in tins for food, especially the pilchard, or European sardine (Clupea pichardus). The California sardine (Clupea sagax) is similar. The American sardines of the Atlantic coast are mostly the young of the common herring and of the menhaden.
  • n. carnelian

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any one of several small species of herring which are commonly preserved in olive oil for food, especially the pilchard, or European sardine (Clupea pilchardus). The California sardine (Clupea sagax) is similar. The American sardines of the Atlantic coast are mostly the young of the common herring and of the menhaden.
  • n. See sardius.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One of several different small clupeoid fish suitable for canning in oil.
  • n. The Gulf menhaden, Brevoortia patronus.
  • n. The common menhaden, Brevoortia tyrannus, when prepared and boxed as sardines. See shadine.
  • n. An anchovy, Stolephorus browni.
  • n. A characinoid fish of the subfamily Tetragonopterinæ, living in the fresh waters of the island of Trinidad. Several species are known by the name.
  • n. An insignificant or contemptible person; a petty character. Compare small fry, under fry.
  • n. Same as sard.
  • n. A fresh-water fish, Conosirus erebi, of the herring tribe, which occurs in rivers of western and northwestern Australia and Queensland: so called in the Brisbane river region. It is the bony-bream of the New South Wales rivers and the Perth herring of Western Australia.

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

  • n. a deep orange-red variety of chalcedony
  • n. any of various small edible herring or related food fishes frequently canned
  • n. small fishes found in great schools along coasts of Europe; smaller and rounder than herring
  • n. small fatty fish usually canned

Etymologies

Middle English sardin, from Old French sardine, from Latin sardīna, from sarda, a kind of fish, ultimately from Greek Sardō, Sardinia.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
from French sardine (compare Spanish sardina, Italian sardina), Latin sardina; from the name of the island of Sardinia, Ancient Greek Σαρδέλα (Sardela). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • That which we call a sardine by any other name would smell as sweet.

    Do sardines exist?

  • All ammunition manufacturers are running at full capacity trying to fulfill damand but there are enough people with enough money to buy everthing they see and pack it in sardine cans in the basement.

    Reloading components gone.

  • Sardina: sardine, of which the Pacific sardine is abundant in Mexican waters and is raised in industrial hatcheries as bait for the bluefin tuna (atún aleta azul) that is exported to Japan.

    A Guide to Mexican Fish and Shellfish - Part Two: Las Delicias del Mar

  • I do not disagree with Kate's assertion that "the word sardine is a generic name for a number of different small fish."

    Do sardines exist?

  • I asked if his father was a fisherman ( "patar hithus?") and he answered excitedly in English, "sardine, sardine!"

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  • I assume these are jokes, and when the open the box, I try a "sardine" - flavoured jelly bean.

    The ADD Blog at Comic Book Galaxy

  • To enhance their work, they devised a system called sardine-packing: Victims were forced to lie down head to toe prior to being shot, thereby making more room in the pit for another layer of victims.

    Review of “Hunting Evil,” by Guy Walters, about bringing Nazis to justice

  • The term is not precise, and varies by region; for instance, to many people a sardine is a young European pilchard.

    Archive 2009-06-01

  • If the fisherman, fishmonger, cook and consumer all agree that the fish I so love is called a sardine, then who am I to argue?

    Do sardines exist?

  • The thing most people call a sardine is canned, and develops a particular taste.

    Do sardines exist?

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