[Fr., from L. sardina.] A small pilchard or herring found near the island of Sardinia, and preserved in oil for food. It has a slim body, and is greenish blue on the back and silvery white below. It is also caught off the north-west coast of France and in the Baltic. American sardines are young herrings or menhaden. The sardines appear in large shoals in spring, and are caught in nets which are large enough to let their heads through, but catch them by the gills and fins. They are washed, scraped, salted, heads and gills cut off, washed again, and dried. They are then cooked in olive oil and dried agair, and then packed in tin cases with boiling oil. Sprats, roach, and dace are sometimes put up in this way.