men·​ha·​den | \ men-ˈhā-dᵊn How to pronounce menhaden (audio) , mən- \
plural menhaden also menhadens

Definition of menhaden

: a marine fish (Brevoortia tyrannus) of the herring family abundant along the Atlantic coast of the U.S. where it is used for bait or converted into oil and fertilizer also : any of several congeneric fishes

Examples of menhaden in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web About 50,000 fish, mainly Atlantic menhaden, were found dead near the head waters of Marley Creek on Wednesday, according to a spokesman for the Maryland Department of the Environment. Christine Condon, Baltimore Sun, 9 June 2022 Colicchio masterfully swam a live menhaden in the current and large striped bass swirled on the helpless bait. Monte Burke, Forbes, 5 June 2022 For example, big populations of menhaden, a small silver fish, attract humpback whales that feed on them. New York Times, 10 Dec. 2021 Big, dive-bombing gannets are exciting to watch and often indicate big baits, like large menhaden, and big stripers. Bill May,, 3 Oct. 2021 Swarms of flies travelled from fish to fish Tuesday afternoon, and some of the menhaden that were still alive in the river appeared to struggle for breathe., 22 Sep. 2021 For jumbo kings of 30 pounds and up, live bait is usually a better choice—cigar minnows or menhaden rigged with a number 6 extra-strong treble in the nose, a second on a stinger hook near the dorsal, connected by number 6 wire. Frank Sargeant, al, 15 Sep. 2021 Coastwide, most of the deaths consisted of baitfish, including mullet, menhaden, spot, silver perch (yellowtail) and other forage species. Matt Watt, San Antonio Express-News, 4 Mar. 2021 Not all of the small fish are doing badly, but in the past 20 years the number of menhaden has dropped to about half of what is was in the 20 years prior, according to data from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Roxanne Khamsi, Scientific American, 24 Aug. 2016 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'menhaden.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of menhaden

1765, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for menhaden

of Algonquian origin; akin to Narragansett munnawhatteaûg menhaden

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Time Traveler for menhaden

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The first known use of menhaden was in 1765

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Dictionary Entries Near menhaden



menhaden oil

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Last Updated

20 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Menhaden.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for menhaden


men·​ha·​den | \ men-ˈhā-dᵊn How to pronounce menhaden (audio) \
plural menhaden

Kids Definition of menhaden

: a fish of the Atlantic coast of the United States that is related to the herring and is a source of oil and fertilizer

More from Merriam-Webster on menhaden

Nglish: Translation of menhaden for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about menhaden


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