packed (in) like sardines

packed (in) like sardines

Very tightly or snugly packed together, especially in a small space. We didn't want to take more than one car, so we had to drive for about four hours packed like sardines in Jeff's little sedan. Having a concert in our friends café was such a good idea! Sure, we were packed in like sardines, but everyone had a great time.
See also: like, packed, sardine
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

packed (in) like sardines

Fig. packed very tightly. It was terribly crowded there. We were packed in like sardines. The bus was full. The passengers were packed like sardines.
See also: like, packed, sardine
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

packed in like sardines

Extremely crowded, as in I could barely breathe-we were packed in like sardines. This term, alluding to how tightly sardines are packed in cans, has been applied to human crowding since the late 1800s.
See also: like, packed, sardine
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

packed like sardines

If a group of people are packed like sardines, they are standing very close together because there is not enough room in an enclosed space. We were packed like sardines in the ship and could barely move. Note: Other words such as crammed, jammed or squashed are sometimes used instead of packed. The male sauna was really packed. There were about five people squashed in there like sardines. Note: The image here is of tinned sardines which have been tightly packed.
See also: like, packed, sardine
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

packed like sardines

crowded very close together.
See also: like, packed, sardine
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

packed (together) like sarˈdines

(informal) (of people) pressed tightly together in a way that is uncomfortable or unpleasant: On the tube in the rush hour the passengers are packed like sardines.
Sardines are a type of fish that are usually sold packed tightly together in small tins.
See also: like, packed, sardine
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

packed in like sardines

Close together, crowded. Canned sardines are jammed together as tightly as practically any such object. The condition was transferred to human crowds by the late nineteenth century. Spike Milligan played with it in his poem “Sardines” (A Book of Milliganimals, 1968): “A baby Sardine saw her first submarine, She was scared and watched through a peephole, ‘O come, come, come, come,’ said the Sardine’s mum, ‘It’s only a tin full of people.’”
See also: like, packed, sardine
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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