Definition of pilchard in US English:



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

    Sardinops and other genera, family Clupeidae: several species, including the European Sardina pilchardus. See also sardine

    • ‘The coastal dwellers also catch pilchard and white fish.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Lastly, horse mackerel's acidity level is higher than pilchard causing a corrosive action when the fish is canned.’
    • ‘South Africa this week granted Namibia limited access to anchovy and pilchard.’
    • ‘When you buy sardines from France, Portugal or Spain, you're really getting pilchards, a smaller and fatter variety of herring.’
    • ‘Herring and other clupeids such as pilchards and sardines have a sophisticated auditory system.’
    • ‘Salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards and fresh tuna are the best source of Omega 3 which is rich in Eicosapentaenoic acid.’
    • ‘The officials claimed that the seals prefer pilchard, small hake and horse mackerel.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I had my big beach rod, and was fishing with pilchards, casting out as far as I could.’
    • ‘Oily fish such as herring, kippers, mackerel, pilchards, salmon, sardines and trout, contain oils that can lessen the risk of thrombosis.’
    • ‘A career in writing is not all about living on baked beans and 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


Mid 16th century: of unknown origin.