from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various marine fishes of the family Scombridae, especially Scomber scombrus of the North Atlantic Ocean, a predatory food fish having dark wavy bars on the back and a silvery belly.
  • noun Any of various similar fishes, such as the horse mackerels.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A pander or pimp.
  • To fish for or catch mackerel; go on a mackerel voyage.
  • noun In Australia, a fish, Scomber antarcticus, Castln., similar to the chub mackerel, Scomber Japonicus, Houttuyn; in New Zealand, Scomber australasious, Cuv. and Val.
  • noun One of several different fishes of the family Scombridæ, and especially any fish of the genus Scomber.
  • noun The bonito, Sarda chilensis.
  • noun 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.
  • noun (See also frigate-mackerel.)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete A pimp; also, a bawd.
  • noun (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.
  • noun (Zoöl.) See under Chub.
  • noun See under Frigate.
  • noun See under Horse.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the wryneck; -- so called because it arrives in England at the time when mackerel are in season.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the Manx shearwater; -- so called because it precedes the appearance of the mackerel on the east coast of Ireland.
  • noun (Zoöl.) See Garfish (a).
  • noun (Zoöl.) any one of several species of gull which feed upon or follow mackerel, as the kittiwake.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a very small oceanic gadoid fish of the North Atlantic. It is about an inch and a half long and has four barbels on the upper jaw. It is now considered the young of the genus Onos, or Motella.
  • noun an instrument for creasing the sides of lean mackerel to improve their appearance.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the porbeagle.
  • noun a sky flecked with small white clouds; a cirro-cumulus. See Cloud.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An edible fish of the family Scombridae, often speckled.

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

  • noun flesh of very important usually small (to 18 in) fatty Atlantic fish
  • noun any of various fishes of the family Scombridae


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

[Middle English makerel, from Old French maquerel.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French maquerel, from a Germanic source.



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  • The H.M.S. Mackerel was listed as a "transport" captured at Yorktown in 1781. Let me take this opportunity to say that I love that there was a ship named Mackerel. I wonder if it was holy.

    October 29, 2007

  •, cow!

    January 31, 2011

  • Keeps your doggerel from getting wet.

    June 3, 2011

  • This stuff is good.

    June 6, 2011

  • Nice link, reesetee!

    June 6, 2011

  • Thanks! Now I have to run off and tell ruzuzu about it. :-)

    June 6, 2011

  • Awesome! Thanks, r.

    June 6, 2011

  • Any time, r.

    June 6, 2011

  • I like it smoked.

    June 7, 2011