• WordNet 3.6
    • n mackerel any of various fishes of the family Scombridae
    • n mackerel flesh of very important usually small (to 18 in) fatty Atlantic fish
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Mackerel A pimp; also, a bawd.
    • n Mackerel (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.☞ The common mackerel (Scomber scombrus), which inhabits both sides of the North Atlantic, is one of the most important food fishes. It is mottled with green and blue. The Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus), of the American coast, is covered with bright yellow circular spots. "Mackerel sky and mare's-tails
      Make tall ships carry low sails."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n mackerel One of several different fishes of the family Scombridæ, and especially any fish of the genus Scomber. The common mackerel, S. scombrus, is one of the best-known and most important of food-fishes, inhabiting the North Atlantic on both sides. It attains a length of 18 inches, though usually less; it is lustrous dark-blue above, with many wavy blackish cross-streaks, and is silvery below, with the base of the pectorals dark. The Easter, tinker, or chub mackerel is a closely related species, S. pneumatophorus, so called from possessing a small air-bladder which is lacking in S. scombrus; it is found in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The big-eyed, bull, or coly mackerel is S. colias, a variety of the last, locally named Spanish mackerel in England. The Spanish mackerel of the United States is a scombrid of a different genus, Scombero-morus maculatus, of both coasts of North America, north to Cape Cod and California. It is one of the most valued food-fishes, reaching a considerable size, bluish and silvery above, with bright reflections, the sides with many rounded bronzed spots, the spinous dorsal fin white at base, dark above and anteriorly. Other mackerel of this genus are the cero, S. regalis, and the sierra, S. caballa. Frigate-mackerels are scombrids of the genus Auxis, as A. thazard or A. rochei, of less value as food-fish. The horse-mackerel properly so called is the tunny, Orcynus thynnus, the largest of the scombrids, sometimes attaining a length of over 10 feet and a weight of half a ton, found on both sides of the Atlantic; but this name is extended to various other fishes. (See horse-mackerel.) Several carangoid fishes are loosely called mackerel, as the yellow mackerel, Caranx chrysos. (See mackerel-scad.) The bluefish or skipper, Po-matomus saltatrix, is sometimes called snapping-mackerel.
    • n mackerel The bonito, Sarda chilensis.
    • n mackerel 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.
    • n mackerel (See also frigate-mackerel.)
    • mackerel To fish for or catch mackerel; go on a mackerel voyage.
    • n mackerel A pander or pimp.
    • n mackerel In Australia, a fish, Scomber antarcticus, Castln., similar to the chub mackerel, Scomber Japonicus, Houttuyn; in New Zealand, Scomber australasious, Cuv. and Val.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Mackerel mak′ėr-el a food fish, dark blue, with wavy cross-streaks above, and silvery below.
    • n Mackerel mak′ėr-el a food fish, dark blue, with wavy cross-streaks above, and silvery below
    • ***


Sprat to catch a mackerel - If you use a sprat to catch a mackerel, you make a small expenditure or take a small risk in the hope of a much greater gain.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OF. maquerel, F. maquereau,LL. macarellus,), prob. for maclereau, fr. L. macula, a spot, in allusion to the markings on the fish. See Mail armor
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. makerel (Fr. maquereau), prob. from L. macula, a spot.


In literature:

The yellow tail is a mackerel running from 25lb.
"Fishing in British Columbia" by Thomas Wilson Lambert
Captain Bailey bounced on his overturned mackerel-keg like a fat, tan-colored rubber ball.
"The Boy Scouts Book of Stories" by Various
Old fishermen say that they rise when the mackerel rise, and when the mackerel go down they go down also.
"Tales of Fishes" by Zane Grey
Or, you get mackerel.
"Nelson's Home Comforts" by Mary Hooper
Pascualet took to salt water like a mackerel!
"Mayflower (Flor de mayo)" by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez
No one, of a certainty, except such a mackerel-blooded Yankee as old Lambton.
"Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine -- Volume 57, No. 351, January 1845" by Various
Mackerel have fetched grand prices this year.
"Ireland as It Is" by Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
Upon my word, I'd rather have the straight-as-a-mackerel kind, who hold you so tight you can scarcely catch your breath!
"Pretty Madcap Dorothy" by Laura Jean Libbey
You'll just be in time for the mackerel fishing.
"Changing Winds" by St. John G. Ervine
They were light cumuli, or cirro-cumuli, shifting into a brightly shining mackerel sky.
"Farthest North" by Fridtjof Nansen

In poetry:

By the sea, lying
blue as a mackerel,
our boarding house was streaked
as though it had been crying.
"A Summer’s Dream" by Elizabeth Bishop
The herring loves the merry moon-light,
The mackerel loves the wind,
But the oyster loves the dredging sang,
For they come of a gentle kind.
"Elspeth's Ballad" by Sir Walter Scott
Come like a light in the white mackerel sky,
come like a daytime comet
with a long unnebulous train of words,
from Brooklyn, over the Brooklyn Bridge, on this fine morning,
please come flying.
"Invitation to Miss Marianne Moore" by Elizabeth Bishop

In news:

Spanish Mackerel Bite was on.
Chefs' Favorite Egg Recipes: Smoked Mackerel Roulade with Herbed Mayonnaise and Sauce Gribiche.
Mackerel filleted and skin off.
Spanish mackerel have arrived along our beaches.
Mackerel Sky misses opening deadline.
Mackerel Sky's grand re-opening in its new location at 211 M.A.C.
Funny that, because of its newly acquired "sustainable" status, mackerel has become one of the most revered of fishes.
Holy mackerel , that's a great white.
Because of that, Spanish mackerel are being caught all the way up at the Franklin Locks.
Mackerel Economics in Prison Leads to Appreciation for Oily Fillets.
Mackerel Sky misses opening deadline.
Mackerel Sky's grand re-opening in its new location at 211 M.A.C.
Johnson/Special to the Caller-Times Mesquite smoked mackerel is great for entertaining.
Mackerel Economics in Prison Leads to Appreciation for Oily Fillets.
In Mackerel's Plunder , Hints of Epic Fish Collapse.

In science:

The first were carangid swimming, as jacks, horse mackerel or pompano .
The eel-like robot
Hayward, S. (2001). in Computational Biochemistry and Biophysics (Becker, O., MacKerell Jr., A., Roux, B., & Watanabe, M., eds.) pp. 153–167 (Marcel Dekker: New York).
Protein structural variation in computational models and crystallographic data