noun \ˈāl-ˌwīf\

Definition of ALEWIFE

:  a woman who keeps an alehouse

First Known Use of ALEWIFE

15th century


plural ale·wives\-ˌwīvz\

Definition of ALEWIFE

:  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


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

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.


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