• WordNet 3.6
    • n sardine any of various small edible herring or related food fishes frequently canned
    • n sardine small fishes found in great schools along coasts of Europe; smaller and rounder than herring
    • n sardine small fatty fish usually canned
    • n sardine a deep orange-red variety of chalcedony
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: No man is allowed to make love to his wife with the smell of garlic, onions, or sardines on his breath in Alexandria, Minnesota. If his wife so requests, law mandates that he must brush his teeth.
    • n Sardine (Zoöl) Any one of several small species of herring which are commonly preserved in olive oil for food, especially the pilchard, or European sardine (Clupea pilchardus). The California sardine (Clupea sagax) is similar. The American sardines of the Atlantic coast are mostly the young of the common herring and of the menhaden.
    • n Sardine See Sardius.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The canning process for herring was developed in Sardinia, which is why canned herrings are better known as sardines.
    • n sardine One of several different small clupeoid fish suitable for canning in oil. The genuine sardine of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coasts of Spain, Portugal, and France is the pilchard, Clupea pilchardus, highly esteemed for its delicate flavor. The Californian sardine is C. sagax, called sadina. Another is the Spanish sardine, C. pseudohispanica, found from Cuba to Florida, and related to the former, but having a strongly striate operculum. In the French preparation of sardines these delicate fish are handled as fresh as possible, to which end the factories are usually within two or three hours from the place where the fish are caught. Placed on stone tables, the fish are headed and gutted; they are then allowed to drain on wooden slats overnight, after being slightly salted. Next day they are salted again, and allowed to dry. They are then cooked in oil, and put in wire baskets to drip. The cooking is a nice process; if it is overdone the scales come off, which impairs the market value. Five or six minutes suffices for the cooking. When cold the fish are placed on tables, to be arranged in the boxes, in oil dipped from barrels. The oil being worth more than the fish, bulk for bulk, it is an object to fill the boxes as closely as possible with fish. The boxes are then soldered and afterward steamed, being placed in cold water on which steam is gradually turned. This second cooking takes an hour or more. The boxes are then allowed to cool in the water, and care is taken to move them as little as possible. In a cheaper method the sardines are first cooked in an oven without oil, the after-process being the same as before. As the fish are migratory, a shoal sometimes remains at a fishing-station only a week. The season of catching and canning lasts three or four months, from May to August. Small sardines are most prized. Large coarse fish put up in the United States as sardines, under the name of shadines, are young menhaden.
    • n sardine The Gulf menhaden, Brevoortia patronus.
    • n sardine The common menhaden, Brevoortia tyrannus, when prepared and boxed as sardines. See shadine.
    • n sardine An anchovy, Stolephorus browni.
    • n sardine A characinoid fish of the subfamily Tetragonopterinæ, living in the fresh waters of the island of Trinidad. Several species are known by the name.
    • n sardine An insignificant or contemptible person; a petty character. Compare small fry, under fry.
    • n sardine Same as sard.
    • n sardine A fresh-water fish, Conosirus erebi, of the herring tribe, which occurs in rivers of western and northwestern Australia and Queensland: so called in the Brisbane river region. It is the bony-bream of the New South Wales rivers and the Perth herring of Western Australia.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Sardine sär-dēn′ a small fish of the herring family, abundant about the island of Sardinia, potted with olive-oil for export, the pilchard: a petty character.
    • n Sardine sär′din the same as Sard
    • Sardine Also Sar′dius
    • ***


Packed like sardines - If a place is extremely crowded, people are packed like sardines, or packed in like sardines.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. sardine,cf. Sp. sardina, sarda, It. sardina, sardella,), L. sardina, sarda,; cf. Gr. , ; so called from the island of Sardinia, Gr.


In literature:

You know the old man Conrad made all his money out of imitation sardines!
"Representative Plays by American Dramatists: 1856-1911: The Moth and the Flame" by Clyde Fitch
By this time we had induced him to take the sardines last, which he obligingly did.
"Faces and Places" by Henry William Lucy
From one he took a can of salmon and from another a box of sardines.
"On the Edge of the Arctic" by Harry Lincoln Sayler
Curry from Tinned Salmon, Sardines, or Tuna.
"The Khaki Kook Book" by Mary Kennedy Core
Put the sardines in your pocket-book, or the marmalade in your gloves.
"Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 147, August 5th, 1914" by Various
And on the next, the floe-ice poured in and packed the harbor like a box of sardines.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 87, January, 1865" by Various
Even a loaf of bread and some sardines wouldn't go bad.
"Dave Porter and His Rivals" by Edward Stratemeyer
He'll be as snug and as tight as a sardine in its case.
"Vixen, Volume II." by M. E. Braddon
He had six cans of sardines.
"Complete Story of the San Francisco Horror" by Richard Linthicum
The Indians, packed tight as sardines in the room, crowded close to see how it was done.
"The Fighting Edge" by William MacLeod Raine

In poetry:

How do I live? On the Parish
Where do I sleep? In a tomb
I was born in a sardine's graveyard
Where treacle and sausages bloom.
"Devil May Not Care" by Billy Bennett
The sea was as smooth as a baby's top lip
Not even a policeman in sight
And the little sardines had got into their tins
And pulled down the lids for the night.
"The Sailor's Farewell To His Horse." by Billy Bennett
The melancholy dead marine
Sown thick along the beaches,
The can that held the late sardine,
Or potted prawn, or peaches,
Are things of innocence beside
Gay Tom and Topsy in the tide.
"The Minglers" by C J Dennis
Indeed, this tin that held sardine
My sad soul sorely vexes.
The fish it harbored might have been
Unwed, and mixed in sexes!
Good brothers, can you wonder then,
That seaside damsels mix with men?
"The Minglers" by C J Dennis
of avocado moist with lemon, yea
formaldehyde & rotting sardines O
in our appointed time
I would I could a touch more fully say
my consentless mind. The senses are below,
which in this air sublime
"Dream Song 120: Foes I sniff, when I have less to shout" by John Berryman
Oh that sardine in your hair, I can see it shining there,
As I took it from its box, And I twined it in your locks.
Silver sardine in your hair. Like a jewel rich and rare,
Oh that little silver sardine in your hair.
"Song Of The Sardine" by Robert W Service

In news:

Back in February, we popped into John Longacre's American Sardine Bar (18th/Federal) to find it pretty much ready to go (that's the street-level bar above).
Rich, delicious sardines not only contain more of the good stuff (omega-3s, calcium) and less of the bad (mercury) but are a sustainable choice—i.e.
Of The Sardine Factory Restaurant, Monterey, CA.
Dame, Master Sommelier, Sardine Factory, Monterey, CA.
We made the effort to get really good sardines and our clients appreciate it.
Sicilian sardine escabèche from Boulud Sud.
Sardines with Olive-Date Tapenade and Yogurt.
A bold, layered salad that showcases sardines and asparagus, this beautiful dish adds variety to your weekday dining.
If you prefer tuna to sardines or have fish from the night before, go ahead and use that instead.
In the old stone-frameddining cavetucked into the back of the Sardine Factory, Lord Toph snacks on battered squid and red wine.
Tom's Kitchen: A Sardine Dish to Convert the Unsaved .
Courtesy of American Sardine Bar.
Chez Sardine Opens in West Village.
South Korean divers clad in Santa Claus costume swims with sardines at The Coex Aquarium on December 8, 2012 in Seoul, South Korea.
One major source of the fats are sardines (above).