Mackerel Mack`er*el, n. [OF. maquerel, F. maquereau (LL. macarellus), prob. for maclereau, fr. L. macula a spot, in allusion to the markings on the fish. See {Mail} armor.] (Zo["o]l.) Any species of the genus {Scomber} of the family {Scombridae}, and of several related genera. They are finely formed and very active oceanic fishes. Most of them are highly prized for food. [1913 Webster]

Note: The common mackerel ({Scomber scombrus}), which inhabits both sides of the North Atlantic, is one of the most important food fishes. It is mottled with green and blue. The Spanish mackerel ({Scomberomorus maculatus}), of the American coast, is covered with bright yellow circular spots. [1913 Webster]

{Bull mackerel}, {Chub mackerel}. (Zo["o]l.) See under {Chub}.

{Frigate mackerel}. See under {Frigate}.

{Horse mackerel} . See under {Horse}.

{Mackerel bird} (Zo["o]l.), the wryneck; -- so called because it arrives in England at the time when mackerel are in season.

{Mackerel cock} (Zo["o]l.), the Manx shearwater; -- so called because it precedes the appearance of the mackerel on the east coast of Ireland.

{Mackerel guide}. (Zo["o]l.) See {Garfish} (a) .

{Mackerel gull} (Zo["o]l.) any one of several species of gull which feed upon or follow mackerel, as the kittiwake.

{Mackerel midge} (Zo["o]l.), a very small oceanic gadoid fish of the North Atlantic. It is about an inch and a half long and has four barbels on the upper jaw. It is now considered the young of the genus {Onos}, or {Motella}.

{Mackerel plow}, an instrument for creasing the sides of lean mackerel to improve their appearance. --Knight.

{Mackerel shark} (Zo["o]l.), the porbeagle.

{Mackerel sky}, or {Mackerel-back sky}, a sky flecked with small white clouds; a cirro-cumulus. See {Cloud}. [1913 Webster]

Mackerel sky and mare's-tails Make tall ships carry low sails. --Old Rhyme. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • mackerel — (n.) edible fish, c.1300, from O.Fr. maquerel mackerel (Mod.Fr. maquereau), of unknown origin but apparently identical with O.Fr. maquerel pimp, procurer, broker, agent, intermediary, a word from a Germanic source (Cf. M.Du. makelaer broker, from …   Etymology dictionary

  • mackerel — [mak′ər əl, mak′rəl] n. pl. mackerel or mackerels [ME makerel < OFr maquerel < ?] any of various scombroid fishes; esp., an edible fish (Scomber scombrus) of the North Atlantic, that has a greenish, blue striped back and a silvery belly …   English World dictionary

  • Mackerel — Mack er*el, n. [OF. maquerel, F. maquereau, fr. D. makelaar mediator, agent, fr. makelen to act as agent.] A pimp; also, a bawd. [Obs.] Halliwell. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mackerel — ► NOUN ▪ a fast swimming sea fish with a greenish blue back, important as a food fish. ORIGIN Old French maquerel …   English terms dictionary

  • Mackerel — For other uses, see Mackerel (disambiguation). Atlantic horse mackerel …   Wikipedia

  • mackerel — /mak euhr euhl, mak reuhl/, n., pl. (esp. collectively) mackerel, (esp. referring to two or more kinds or species) mackerels. 1. a food fish, Scomber scombrus, of the North Atlantic, having wavy cross markings on the back. 2. See Spanish mackerel …   Universalium

  • mackerel — [[t]mæ̱kərəl[/t]] N VAR (mackerel is both the singular and the plural form.) A mackerel is a sea fish with a dark, patterned back. Almiro s boat had sailed out to the middle of the bay to fish for mackerel. N UNCOUNT Mackerel is this fish eaten… …   English dictionary

  • mackerel — noun (plural mackerel or mackerels) Etymology: Middle English makerel, from Anglo French Date: 14th century 1. a scombroid fish (Scomber scombrus of the family Scombridae) of the North Atlantic that is green above with dark blue bars and silvery… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • mackerel — UK [ˈmækrəl] / US [ˈmæk(ə)rəl] noun Word forms mackerel : singular mackerel plural mackerel a) [countable] a sea fish with flesh that contains a lot of natural oil b) [uncountable] this fish eaten as food …   English dictionary

  • mackerel — /ˈmækərəl / (say makuhruhl) noun (plural mackerel or mackerels) 1. Also, slimy mackerel. a common iridescent greenish fish with irregular darker markings on the back, Scomber australasicus, widely distributed in Australian and New Zealand waters… …   Australian English dictionary

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