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

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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]

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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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Example sentences
Sardines thrived here, feeding on the rich blooms of plankton fertilized by
  nutrients carried along by rising deep ocean waters.
If they were scarce, he could sell his contract and turn instead to sardines or
  anchovies.
Shoveled into the water by workers in a small tender beside the pens, the
  silvery fish were fresh sardines.
But when it came time to eat the chips, the chocolate and sardines scenarios
  had zero effect on actual enjoyment.
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