from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of several food fishes of the genus Alosa, especially the North American species A. sapidissima, related to the herrings but atypical in swimming up streams from marine waters to spawn.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any one of several species of food fishes that comprise the genus Alosa in the family Clupeidae, to which the herrings also belong; river herring.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any one of several species of food fishes of the Herring family. The American species (Alosa sapidissima formerly Clupea sapidissima), which is abundant on the Atlantic coast and ascends the larger rivers in spring to spawn, is an important market fish. The European allice shad, or alose (Alosa alosa formerly Clupea alosa), and the twaite shad (Alosa finta formerly Clupea finta), are less important species.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A clupeoid fish of the genus Alosa, in which there are no palatal teeth and the cheeks are deeper than they are long.
  • n. In the Ohio valley, a clupeoid, Pomolobus chrysochloris, with persistent and well-developed teeth in the premaxillaries and front of the lower jaw.
  • n. With a qualifying word, one of several other fishes. See gizzard-shad, and phrases below.
  • n. A Middle English past participle of shed.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. herring-like food fishes that migrate from the sea to fresh water to spawn
  • n. bony flesh of herring-like fish usually caught during their migration to fresh water for spawning; especially of Atlantic coast


Middle English *schad, from Old English sceadd.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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