Anchovy Definition

ănchōvē, ăn-chōvē
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.
American Heritage
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.
Webster's New World

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.


Other Word Forms of Anchovy



Origin of Anchovy

  • 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

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

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

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