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[shad] /ʃæd/
noun, plural (especially collectively) shad (especially referring to two or more kinds or species) shads.
a deep-bodied herring, Alosa sapidissima, of Europe and North America, that migrates up streams to spawn, used for food.
any other fish of the genus Alosa or related genera.
any of several unrelated fishes.
Origin of shad
before 1050; Old English sceadd (not recorded in ME) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for shad
  • They do nothing but pig out all winter on shad and perch.
  • Cast in shallow waters where the threadfin shad tend to linger, especially right before the temperature starts to drop.
  • Try trolling with live anchovies or shad, or lures and spoons that mimic shad.
  • IT is not quite spring yet, but shad and shad roe are already in the market.
  • shad has a rich yet delicately flavored flesh that is best with a sauce that has some acid: vinegar, lemon or dry white wine.
  • But if the crocuses are inevitable, the burgeoning shad population is not.
  • However, unlike the other prey fish mentioned here, gizzard shad are only vulnerable to predation during the early life stages.
  • Fresh shad or dead minnows will also work but the smellier the better.
  • shad caught beyond this number should be returned to the water.
  • Cut gizzard shad, big threadfin shad, and white perch seem to be the best baits.
British Dictionary definitions for shad


noun (pl) shad, shads
any of various herring-like food fishes of the genus Alosa and related genera, such as A. alosa (allis shad) of Europe, that migrate from the sea to freshwater to spawn: family Clupeidae (herrings)
any of various similar but unrelated fishes
Word Origin
Old English sceadd; related to Norwegian skadd, German Schade shad, Old Irish scatān herring, Latin scatēre to well up
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for shad

Old English sceadd "shad," important food fish in the Atlantic, possibly from Scandinavian (cf. Norwegian dialectal skadd "small whitefish"); but cf. Welsh ysgadan (plural), Irish and Gaelic sgadan "herring." OED says Low German schade may be from English.

Its importance suggested by its use in forming the common names of U.S. East Coast plants and wildlife whose active period coincides with the running of the shad up rivers, e.g. shad-bird, shad-bush, shad-flower, shad-fly, shad-frog. From the shape of the fish comes shad-bellied, 1832 in reference to persons, "having little abdominal protuberance;" of coats (1842) "sloping apart in front, cut away," especially in reference to the characteristic garb of male Quakers.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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