Definition of menhaden in US English:



  • A large deep-bodied fish of the herring family that occurs along the east coast of North America. The oil-rich flesh is used to make fish meal and fertilizer.

    Genus Brevoortia, family Clupeidae: several species, in particular B. tyrannus

    • ‘But menhaden are not predators like blue runners and bumper, and can't be caught on sabiki rigs.’
    • ‘These larger animals include the great schools of fish, such as tuna, menhaden, cod and mackerel, which we catch for food.’
    • ‘Fresh, fat squid make good baits, although most pier fishermen sling chunks of fresh menhaden or mullet, which hold the hook better in flight.’
    • ‘Like tuna and salmon, menhaden contain high levels of omega - 3 fatty acids.’
    • ‘Frigatebirds feed primarily on flying fish (Cypselurus, Exocoetus), but will also take menhaden, squid or jellyfish.’


Late 18th century: from Algonquian.