packed in like sardines

Idioms & Phrases

packed in like sardines

Extremely crowded, as in I could barely breathewe were packed in like sardines. This term, alluding to how tightly sardines are packed in cans, has been applied to human crowding since the late 1800s.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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