Etymology
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alewife (n.)

herring-like fish of North America, 1630s, named from the word for female tavern-keepers (attested from late 14c.), from ale + wife; the fish so called in reference to its large abdomen.

updated on September 16, 2022

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Definitions of alewife from WordNet

alewife (n.)
flesh of shad-like fish abundant along the Atlantic coast or in coastal streams;
alewife (n.)
shad-like food fish that runs rivers to spawn; often salted or smoked; sometimes placed in genus Pomolobus;
Synonyms: Alosa pseudoharengus / Pomolobus pseudoharengus
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.