From Middle English hering, from Old English hǣring, from Proto-West Germanic *hāring (“herring”), further etymology unknown. Possibly derived from Proto-Germanic *hērą (“hair”) + -ing, due to the similarity of their fine bones to hair. Cognate with Scots hering, haring (“herring”), Saterland Frisian Hiering, Häiring (“herring”), West Frisian hjerring (“herring”), Dutch haring (“herring”), German Low German Hereng, Hering (“herring”), German Hering (“herring”). Late Latin haringus (whence French hareng, etc.) is borrowed from Germanic.
herring (plural herrings or herring)
- A type of small, oily fish of the genus Clupea, often used as food.
- 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 4, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
- Then he commenced to talk, really talk. and inside of two flaps of a herring's fin he had me mesmerized, like Eben Holt's boy at the town hall show. He talked about the ills of humanity, and the glories of health and Nature and service and land knows what all.
- Fish in the family Clupeidae.
- Fish similar to those in genus Clupea, many of those in the order Clupeiformes.
- Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus)
- Baltic herring (Clupea harengus membras)
- dead as a herring
- English herring (Clupea harengus)
- European herring gull
- herring gull
- herring pond
- herring worm
- longfin herring (Pristigasteridae)
- matjes herring
- Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii)
- Picton herring
- red herring
- red herring prospectus
- rock herring
- round herring (Dussumieriidae)
- thread herring (Opisthonema)
- white herring
- wolf herring (Chirocentridae)