Scomber scombrus, derived from the French maquereau, a word also used for pimp and, anecdotally, for the fish which leads female shads to their mates in spring

Dictionary of ichthyology. 2009.

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  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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… …  

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