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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for shad
Contemporary Examples
  • shad roe is such a fleeting seasonal delicacy, so rich and full of flavor.

    Fresh Picks Ben Pollinger February 10, 2011
Historical Examples
  • Captain shad, after informing them that he would be aboard in a jiffy, drove on to the barn.

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph C. Lincoln
  • As for Captain shad, he could only stare, struck speechless by his visitor's audacity.

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Captain shad's remarks when he first saw that sign may be worth quoting.

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph C. Lincoln
  • It did seem to Captain shad, however, that his partner had something on his mind.

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Captain shad's epistle was more worldly but not more coherent.

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Zoeth's welcome was as hearty, if not as exuberant, as Captain shad's.

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph C. Lincoln
  • For when the other man came running Peter heard him call the gateman, "shad."

    The Vagrant Duke George Gibbs
  • "Quite a bit of wood here, Mister—enough for my job," said shad.

    The Vagrant Duke George Gibbs
  • shad pointed with his long arm in the general direction of Heaven.

    The Vagrant Duke George Gibbs
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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