Definition of pilchard in English:



  • A small, edible, commercially valuable marine fish of the herring family.

    • ‘The main species harvested are hake, horse mackerel and pilchard, whilst other species such as monk, anchovy, tuna and sole also contribute to this sector.’
    • ‘After migrating to the ocean, the maturing adults feed on large zooplakton, herring, pilchard, sandlance and other fishes, squid, and crustaceans.’
    • ‘Oily fish such as herring, kippers, mackerel, pilchards, salmon, sardines and trout, contain oils that can lessen the risk of thrombosis.’
    • ‘Both white fish (such as haddock, plaice, halibut and sole) and oily fish (such as sardines, salmon, trout, pilchards and mackerel) are valuable sources of protein, vitamins and minerals.’
    • ‘I had my big beach rod, and was fishing with pilchards, casting out as far as I could.’
    • ‘Herring and other clupeids such as pilchards and sardines have a sophisticated auditory system.’
    • ‘The officials claimed that the seals prefer pilchard, small hake and horse mackerel.’
    • ‘When you buy sardines from France, Portugal or Spain, you're really getting pilchards, a smaller and fatter variety of herring.’
    • ‘He pointed out that 100 tonnes of diesel is now being released in a relatively shallow area which is also a major spawning area for pilchards.’
    • ‘He noted that fresh pilchards are simply grilled, with pepper and salt, which is still the best way of cooking sardines, the junior version of pilchards.’
    • ‘The South African sardine, also known as the pilchard, is usually found in huge shoals in the upper layers of the ocean.’
    • ‘The fish stalls sell pilchards, mackerel and squid, which are the best baits for general ledger fishing, taking most species including conger and moray eels.’
    • ‘The coastal dwellers also catch pilchard and white fish.’
    • ‘The omega - 3 oil found in oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, fresh tuna, sardines, herring, kippers, pilchards, trout and anchovies are known to have a protective effect on the heart.’
    • ‘The Gauteng health department has recalled a batch of botulism-tainted pilchards for laboratory testing after an incident in which two East Rand children were poisoned last week.’
    • ‘I have witnessed with my own eyes a colleague eating a pot noodle mixed with pilchards straight out of the tin.’
    • ‘Salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards and fresh tuna are the best source of Omega 3 which is rich in Eicosapentaenoic acid.’
    • ‘South Africa this week granted Namibia limited access to anchovy and pilchard.’
    • ‘Lastly, horse mackerel's acidity level is higher than pilchard causing a corrosive action when the fish is canned.’
    • ‘A career in writing is not all about living on baked beans and pilchards.’


Mid 16th century: of unknown origin.