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[sahr-deen] /sɑrˈdin/
noun, plural (especially collectively) sardine (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) sardines.
the pilchard, Sardina pilchardus, often preserved in oil and used for food.
any of various similar, closely related fishes of the herring family Clupeidae.
Origin of sardine1
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English sardeine < Middle French sardine < Latin sardīna, derivative of sarda sardine, noun use of feminine of Sardus Sardinian


[sahr-dahyn, -dn] /ˈsɑr daɪn, -dn/
1300-50; Middle English (< Late Latin sardīnus) < Greek sárdinos sardius Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for sardine
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I tell ye, he's no sardine; you kin see that without my tellin' ye.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • Finally the call of my name made me jump as a sardine does when pursued by a big fish.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • If that isn't enough to make a man feel as small as a sardine!

    The Eternal City Hall Caine
  • And they were as good to eat as a sardine and better than a mullet.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
  • Where are the sardine sloops that ought to have sailed from Algiers?

    The Maids of Paradise

    Robert W. (Robert William) Chambers
  • At least the war could not keep me from the sardine grounds.

    The Maids of Paradise

    Robert W. (Robert William) Chambers
  • "It looks like an apple with a sardine for a core," said Charley.

  • "I'm a little tired of this sardine can, myself," Larkwell put in.

    First on the Moon Jeff Sutton
  • Cut the toast into strips and serve one sardine on each strip.

    Paper-bag Cookery Vera Serkoff
British Dictionary definitions for sardine


noun (pl) -dines, -dine
any of various small marine food fishes of the herring family, esp a young pilchard See also sild
like sardines, very closely crowded together
Word Origin
C15: via Old French from Latin sardīna, diminutive of sarda a fish suitable for pickling


/ˈsɑːdiːn; -dən/
another name for sard
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin sardinus, from Greek sardinos lithos Sardian stone, from Sardeis Sardis
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sardine

early 15c., from Latin sardina, from Greek sardine, sardinos, often said to be from Sardo "Sardinia" (see Sardinia), the Mediterranean island, near which the fish probably were caught and from which they were exported. But cf. Klein: "It is hardly probable that the Greeks would have obtained fish from so far as Sardinia at a time relatively so early as that of Aristotle, from whom Athenaios quotes a passage in which the fish sardinos is mentioned." Colloquial phrase packed like sardines (in a tin) is recorded from 1911.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with sardine
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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