\ ˈshad How to pronounce shad (audio) \
plural shad

Definition of shad

: any of several fishes (especially genus Alosa) of the herring family that differ from the typical herrings (genus Clupeus) in having a relatively deep body and in being anadromous and that include some important food fishes of Europe and North America

Examples of shad in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The lower Connecticut River is well know for the spring run of shad, who migrate upriver to freshwater in order to spawn., "Wandering seal back in Long Island Sound after swimming 100 miles up Connecticut River," 7 June 2019 Several shad thrash in the mesh, their large silver scales lighting up like strobes in the sun. Corey Arnold, National Geographic, "Why wild salmon remains king in the Pacific Northwest," 27 Mar. 2019 To focus on larger stripers, live shad fished at 50-70 feet is the best bet. Frank Sargeant,, "Friday Fishing Report: Bass are biting at Lake Guntersville," 21 June 2019 The result is a meandering journey through the muddy pond depths, featuring encounters with other turtles, eating shad from Naegeli’s hand and the unique experience of seeing life from a turtle’s-eye view. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Turtle Strapped With a GoPro Is the Cinematographer to Watch Underwater Right Now for the Turtle’s-Eye View," 18 June 2019 The shad is sold as bait to sturgeon fishermen, who fish for the prehistoric-looking bottom-feeders in the deep pools behind the dams. Corey Arnold, National Geographic, "Why wild salmon remains king in the Pacific Northwest," 27 Mar. 2019 Swimbaits and swimjigs also do the job, and these become even more effective in May as the fish start feeding heavily on spawning shad. Frank Sargeant,, "Time for post spawn bassing on Alabama lakes," 25 Apr. 2018 The challenge in some dense bait populations is picking out the gamefish from the shad--the masses around some bridges like the one on Highway 69 on the west side of town sometimes extend from the surface to the bottom in a seemingly solid target. Frank Sargeant,, "Bridgework for winter angling action," 10 Jan. 2018 Drifting fresh shad on the flats is a good tactic this time of year. Tyler Mahoney, kansascity, "Fishing report: Holiday week brings plenty of hits, some misses," 4 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shad.' 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 shad

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shad

Middle English *shad, from Old English sceadd

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Statistics for shad

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for shad

The first known use of shad was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for shad


\ ˈshad How to pronounce shad (audio) \
plural shad

Kids Definition of shad

: a silvery ocean fish that swims up rivers to lay or fertilize eggs and is often used for food

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More from Merriam-Webster on shad

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shad

Spanish Central: Translation of shad

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

Comments on shad

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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