Pronunciation: (her'ing), [key]
—pl. (esp. collectively) -ring, (esp. referring to two or more kinds or species) -rings.
1. an important food fish, Clupea harengus harengus, found in enormous shoals in the North Atlantic.
2. a similar fish, Clupea harengus pallasii, of the North Pacific.
3. any fish of the family Clupeidae, including herrings, shads, and sardines.
4. any of various fishes resembling the herring but of unrelated families.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.