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 Mullet and pinfish are the hardiest, with menhaden, sardines, and ballyhoo being less so. Bob Mcnally, Field & Stream, "The Ultimate Guide to Catching and Keeping Saltwater Live Bait," 2 Jan. 2020 But in 2017, the interstate commission reduced bay harvest limits for Atlantic menhaden from about 87,000 metric tons to 51,000 metric tons. Washington Post, "Fish oil firm may be barred from fishing in Chesapeake Bay," 19 Dec. 2019 Omega Protein has an operation based in Reedville, Virginia, that catches schools of Atlantic menhaden in the Chesapeake Bay as well as in the Atlantic Ocean. Washington Post, "Fish oil firm may be barred from fishing in Chesapeake Bay," 19 Dec. 2019 The company also pointed to the commission’s most recent stock assessment, which said menhaden aren’t being overfished. Washington Post, "Commission: Virginia let company defy fishing limits in bay," 31 Oct. 2019 Other studies, though, suggest that menhaden make up about a third of their diet. Scott Dance,, "As Canadian company defies fish harvest cap, Maryland advocates worry of impact on striped bass, other species," 19 Sep. 2019 On Cape Ann, herds of gray seals on Dry Salvages and Thacher Island, off Rockport, attract sharks, while others are lured by menhaden on Gloucester’s eastern shore and in Ipswich Bay, often [near] beaches like Good Harbor, Wingaersheek, and Crane., "Letters to the editor of the Boston Globe Magazine," 24 Aug. 2019 For more than a century, oysters have made up one of the Chesapeake Bay's most valuable commercial fisheries alongside blue crab, striped bass and Atlantic menhaden. Julia Rentsch,, "Maryland oysters are having a bad year, and here’s why," 18 Aug. 2019 Over the last two summers, large schools of menhaden (pogies) have been in residence from the South Shore to N.H. Travis Andersen,, "Makin’ a splash: There’s a humpback whale in Boston Harbor," 6 Aug. 2019

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.

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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

Time Traveler

The first known use of menhaden was in 1765

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Statistics for menhaden

Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Menhaden.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on menhaden

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with menhaden

Spanish Central: Translation of menhaden

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

Comments on menhaden

What made you want to look up menhaden? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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