plural 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 Since then, the fishing market has exploded with options from the Doomsday Tackle C-Shad (modeled after a photo of a threadfin shad), to the YUM Sonar Minnow that produced half of Jason Christie’s fish during his 2022 Bassmaster Classic win at Lake Hartwell. David A. Brown, Field & Stream, 27 June 2024 Woodworth said there are five migratory fish affected by the dam: American eel, sea lamprey, blueback herring, alewife and American shad. Ed Stannard, Hartford Courant, 16 Apr. 2024 Sometimes the ‘eyes are out on the prowl, foraging on minnows or shad that are schooled somewhere between the top and bottom. Alex Robinson, Outdoor Life, 13 June 2024 Since the shad died off a few years ago, the bass fishing hasn’t been the same. Staff Report, Orange County Register, 27 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for shad 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'shad.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English *shad, from Old English sceadd

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near shad

Cite this Entry

“Shad.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


plural shad
: any of several sea fishes that are related to the herrings, swim up rivers to lay or fertilize eggs, and include important food fishes

More from Merriam-Webster on shad

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