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alewife

1
[ eyl-wahyf ]
/ ˈeɪlˌwaɪf /
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noun, plural ale·wives.

a North American fish, Alosa pseudoharengus, resembling a small shad.

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Origin of alewife

1
1625–35, Americanism; earlier allowes, perhaps influenced by alewife2, probably <French alose shad <Gallo-Latin alausa

Definition for alewife (2 of 2)

alewife2
[ eyl-wahyf ]
/ ˈeɪlˌwaɪf /

noun, plural ale·wives.

a woman who owns or operates an alehouse.

Origin of alewife

2
Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at ale, wife
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for alewife

alewife
/ (ˈeɪlˌwaɪf) /

noun plural -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 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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