Definitions for alewifeˈeɪlˌwaɪf

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word alewife

Princeton's WordNet

  1. alewife(noun)

    flesh of shad-like fish abundant along the Atlantic coast or in coastal streams

  2. alewife, Alosa pseudoharengus, Pomolobus pseudoharengus(noun)

    shad-like food fish that runs rivers to spawn; often salted or smoked; sometimes placed in genus Pomolobus

Webster Dictionary

  1. Alewife(noun)

    a woman who keeps an alehouse

  2. Alewife(noun)

    a North American fish (Clupea vernalis) of the Herring family. It is called also ellwife, ellwhop, branch herring. The name is locally applied to other related species

  3. Origin: [This word is properly aloof, the Indian name of a fish. See Winthrop on the culture of maize in America, Phil Trans. No. 142, p. 1065, and Baddam's Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 131.]


  1. Alewife

    The alewife is a species of fish. There are anadromous and landlocked forms. The landlocked form is also called a sawbelly or mooneye. The front of the body is deep and larger than other fish found in the same waters, and its common name is said to come from comparison with a corpulent female tavernkeeper. In Atlantic Canada it is known as the gaspereau. More locally, in southwestern Nova Scotia, it is called a kiack. In the Southeast US, when sold and used as bait, the fish is often referred to as "LY". Adult alewives are preferred bait for the spring lobster fishery in Maine. It is also used for human consumption, usually smoked. It is caught using large dip nets to scoop the fish out of shallow, constricted areas on its migratory streams and rivers. It is one of the "typical" North American shads of the subgenus Pomolobus.


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