Definition of anchovy in English:


Pronunciation: /ˈantʃəvi//anˈtʃəʊvi/


  • A small shoaling fish of commercial importance as a food fish and as bait. It is strongly flavoured and is usually preserved in salt and oil.

    • ‘And I disagree with adding salt - anchovies and olives are salty - I only added pepper.’
    • ‘The relationship between anchovies and sardines may not be so simple, he said.’
    • ‘Their diet includes several fish species, such as anchovy, whiting and herring.’
    • ‘Its primary food consists of sardines, anchovies, small mackerel, crabs, shrimp and squid.’
    • ‘There's a wide ledge on the north side of the Arch at 25m, a good place to stop and watch a huge shoal of anchovies stream past.’
    • ‘Preserved fish is the local speciality - especially tuna in oil and anchovies, which are salted in ceramic pots with weighted tops.’
    • ‘The Brown Pelican's diet consists almost entirely of fish such as smelt and anchovies.’
    • ‘As she was preparing to cook it, she happened to glance at the ingredients and noticed that it contained anchovies and fish stock.’
    • ‘Sardines haven't had the exposure of, say, anchovies or herrings.’
    • ‘A rustling plateful of deep-fried whitebait with anchovies and a red onion dressing screamed out for a smack of chilli, but was still pleasing for all that.’
    • ‘According to Harris, the greatest concern is a trend toward fishing the Argentine anchovy, a staple penguin food.’
    • ‘Sardines and anchovies swim to the beat of a 50-year climate cycle in the Pacific Ocean.’
    • ‘The rivers also provide fish, and there are several fisheries that produce mackerel, anchovies, and prawns.’
    • ‘In a mortar, pound the salt, garlic and anchovies to a paste.’
    • ‘Groups such as silversides, herrings and anchovies often congregate in feeding shoals numbering in the millions.’
    • ‘At a larger size, they prey on fish such as smelt, anchovies, lamprey, shad and salmon.’
    • ‘Barracuda eat squid and small fish such as sardines, anchovies, young mackerels and grunions.’
    • ‘Wild fish caught for farm feed include herring, mackerel, sand eels and anchovies.’
    • ‘Like anchovies and herrings, they are small, primitive fish belonging to the group known as clupeoids.’
    • ‘Adult halibut prefer a diet of small fish such as anchovies, sardines, and white croaker.’


Late 16th century: from Spanish and Portuguese anchova, of unknown origin.