: a food fish (Alosa pseudoharengus) of the herring family that is very abundant along the Atlantic coast; also: any of several related fishes (as the menhaden)
Origin of ALEWIFE
perhaps alteration of obsolete allowes, a kind of shad, from French alose shad, from Old French, from Late Latin alausa
First Known Use: 1633
Important North American food fish (Pomolobus, or Alosa, pseudoharengus) of the herring family. The alewife grows to about 1 ft (30 cm). Most populations spend several years along North America's Atlantic coast before ascending freshwater streams to spawn each spring in ponds or sluggish rivers.