[ mak-er-uhl, mak-ruhl ]

noun,plural (especially collectively) mack·er·el, (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) mack·er·els.
  1. a food fish, Scomber scombrus, of the North Atlantic, having wavy cross markings on the back.

  1. any of various similar fishes, as the Atka mackerel.

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Origin of mackerel

1250–1300; Middle English <Old French, perhaps same word as Middle French maquerel pimp <Middle Dutch makelare broker (by metathesis), equivalent to makel(en) to bring together + -are-er1

Words Nearby mackerel Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use mackerel in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for mackerel


/ (ˈmækrəl) /

nounplural -rel or -rels
  1. a spiny-finned food fish, Scomber scombrus, occurring in northern coastal regions of the Atlantic and in the Mediterranean: family Scombridae. It has a deeply forked tail and a greenish-blue body marked with wavy dark bands on the back: Compare Spanish mackerel (def. 1)

  2. any of various other fishes of the family Scombridae, such as Scomber colias (Spanish mackerel) and S. japonicus (Pacific mackerel)

Origin of mackerel

C13: from Anglo-French, from Old French maquerel, of unknown origin

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