1 [eyl-wahyf]
noun, plural alewives.
a North American fish, Alosa pseudoharengus, resembling a small shad.

1625–35, Americanism; earlier allowes, perhaps influenced by alewife2, probably < French alose shad < Gallo-Latin alausa Unabridged


2 [eyl-wahyf]
noun, plural alewives.
a woman who owns or operates an alehouse.

1350–1400; Middle English; see ale, wife Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
alewife (ˈeɪlˌwaɪf)
n , pl -wives
a North American fish, Pomolobus pseudoharengus, similar to the herring Clupea harengus: family Clupeidae (herrings)
[C19: perhaps an alteration (through influence of alewife, that is, a large rotund woman, alluding to the fish's shape) of French alose shad]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

herring-like fish of N.America, 1630s, named for M.E. word for female tavern keepers; so called in reference to its large abdomen.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Pacific salmon species stocked as a trophy fish and to control alewife.
However, alewife and gizzard shad were abundant in the entire area.
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