packed in like sardines

Extremely crowded, as in I could barely breathe—we were packed in like sardines. This term, alluding to how tightly sardines are packed in cans, has been applied to human crowding since the late 1800s.


Nearby words

  1. package tour,
  2. packager,
  3. packaging,
  4. packboard,
  5. packed,
  6. packed-cell volume,
  7. packer,
  8. packet,
  9. packet switched system,
  10. packet switching

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.