Middle English Dictionary Entry

sperling(e n.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

(a) A fish of the family Clupeidae, esp. the sprat Clupea sprattus; ?also, a shoal of sprats [quot. ?a1500, 1st]; also, the pilchard Sardinia pilchardus; also, any small fish of the genus Merlangus, such as the whiting Merlangus merlangus, or of the family Salmonidae, such as the grayling Thymallus thymallus, or perh. the European smelt Osmerus eperlanus; -- sometimes coll.; ~ time, ?the spawning period of the fish; (b) as surname.