noun (plural alewives)
A NW Atlantic fish of the herring family, which swims up rivers to spawn.
- Alosa pseudoharengus, family Clupeidae.
- Larger salmon eat a variety of fishes such as herring and alewives, smelts, capelin, small mackerel, sand lace, and small cod.
- Our goal was to determine if seal numbers increase during the alewife and Atlantic salmon runs.
- Some of the species that live in the ocean but enter freshwater to spawn are sea lamprey, Atlantic sturgeon, alewife, Atlantic salmon, arctic char, and American eel.
Mid 17th century: possibly from earlier alewife 'woman who keeps an ale house', with reference to the fish's large belly.
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