Definition of alewife in English:

alewife

noun

  • A north-western Atlantic fish of the herring family that swims up rivers to spawn and is found also in the Great Lakes.

    • ‘Few land-locked alewives live longer than 5 years.’
    • ‘Harbor seals were found to congregate in the Saint John Harbour during the runs of alewife but not Atlantic salmon.’
    • ‘Our goal was to determine if seal numbers increase during the alewife and Atlantic salmon runs.’
    • ‘Larger salmon eat a variety of fishes such as herring and alewives, smelts, capelin, small mackerel, sand lace, and small cod.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

Mid 17th century: possibly from earlier alewife ‘woman who keeps an ale house’, with reference to the fish's large belly.

Pronunciation

alewife

/ˈeɪlwʌɪf/