sardine

1 [sahr-deen]
noun, plural (especially collectively) sardine (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) sardines.
1.
the pilchard, Sardina pilchardus, often preserved in oil and used for food.
2.
any of various similar, closely related fishes of the herring family Clupeidae.

Origin:
1400–50; late Middle English sardeine < Middle French sardine < Latin sardīna, derivative of sarda sardine, noun use of feminine of Sardus Sardinian

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sardine

2 [sahr-dahyn, -dn]
noun

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English (< Late Latin sardīnus) < Greek sárdinos sardius

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sardine1 (sɑːˈdiːn)
 
n , pl -dines, -dine
1.  See also sild any of various small marine food fishes of the herring family, esp a young pilchard
2.  like sardines very closely crowded together
 
[C15: via Old French from Latin sardīna, diminutive of sarda a fish suitable for pickling]

sardine2 (ˈsɑːdiːn, -dən)
 
n
another name for sard
 
[C14: from Late Latin sardinus, from Greek sardinos lithos Sardian stone, from Sardeis Sardis]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

sardine
c.1430, from L. sardina, from Gk. sardine, sardinos, often said to be from Sardo "Sardinia" (see Sardinia), the Mediterranean island, near which the fish were probably caught and from which they were exported. But cf. Klein: "It is hardly probable that the Greeks would
have obtained fish from so far as Sardinia at a time relatively so early as that of Aristotle, from whom Athenaios quotes a passage in which the fish sardinos is mentioned." Colloquial phrase packed like sardines (in a tin) is recorded from 1911.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

sardine

see packed in like sardines.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Place in the centre of each a stuffed olive, made by removing stone and filling
  cavity with sardine mixture.
The ant found my pathway, followed it to the sardine and briefly examined the
  food.
Ground marinated anchovies flavor sauces and salad dressings, while tuna,
  sardine and mullet are served as main courses.
The looters may have found a few old sardine cans but not much else.
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