- A small round oily sea fish, Sardina pilchardus and Clupea pilchardus, which when immature is called a sardine. Often canned in brine or tomato sauce, but can be cooked whole. Found off the south-west coast of the UK. fresh pilchards can be distinguished from small herring by raised lines that run back from the eyes and from sprats by their lack of the line of spiny scales along the centre line of the belly.
- noun a small fish similar to a herring, sold in tins