Anchovy definition

ănchōvē, ăn-chōvē
Frequency:
Any of various small silvery marine fishes of the family Engraulidae, especially Engraulis encrasicolus of the eastern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, often cured and preserved in oil.
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Any of a family (Engraulidae) of very small fishes (order Clupeiformes) with large mouths, found mostly in warm seas: anchovies, esp. the European species (Engraulis encrasicholus), are used as a relish, either canned in oil or made into a salty paste.
noun
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Any small saltwater fish of the Engraulidae family, consisting of 160 species in 16 genera, of which the genus Engraulis is widely sold as food.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
anchovy
Plural:
anchovies

Origin of anchovy

  • Spanish anchova possibly from Vulgar Latin apiuva ultimately from Greek aphuē

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Spanish anchova, from Genoese Ligurian anchua anchova or perhaps from a similar Corsican term. The term's ultimate origin is unclear; some suggest it may have derived from an unattested Vulgar Latin term *apiuva, from Latin aphye, from Ancient Greek ἀφύη (aphuē); others suggest it comes from Basque antxu, anchu (“dried fish”), from anchuva (“dry”), if that Basque term is not itself derived from Latin via some intermediary.

    From Wiktionary