[ pil-cherd ]
/ ˈpɪl tʃərd /


a small, southern European, marine fish, Sardina pilchardus, related to the herring but smaller and rounder.
any of several related fishes, as Sardinops caeruleus, common off the California coast.

Origin of pilchard

First recorded in 1520–30; earlier pilcher; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

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British Dictionary definitions for pilchard

/ (ˈpɪltʃəd) /


a European food fish, Sardina (or Clupea) pilchardus, with a rounded body covered with large scales: family Clupeidae (herrings)
a related fish, Sardinops neopilchardus, of S Australian waters

Word Origin for pilchard

C16: pylcher, of obscure 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