[ men-heyd-n ]
/ mɛnˈheɪd n /

noun, plural men·ha·den.

any marine clupeid fish of the genus Brevoortia, especially B. tyrannus, resembling a shad but with a more compressed body, common along the eastern coast of the U.S., and used for making oil and fertilizer.

Nearby words

  1. menfolk,
  2. mengelberg,
  3. menger,
  4. mengistu haile mariam,
  5. mengzi,
  6. menhir,
  7. menial,
  8. menially,
  9. menilite,
  10. meninga

Origin of menhaden

1635–45, Americanism; perhaps < Narragansett (E spelling) munnawhatteaûg, influenced by E dial. poghaden; cf. pogy1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for menhaden

British Dictionary definitions for menhaden


/ (mɛnˈheɪdən) /

noun plural -den

a marine North American fish, Brevoortia tyrannus: source of fishmeal, fertilizer, and oil: family Clupeidae (herrings, etc)

Word Origin for menhaden

C18: from Algonquian; probably related to Narragansett munnawhatteaúg fertilizer, menhaden

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

Word Origin and History for menhaden



kind of herring, 1792, from Algonquian (probably Narragansett) munnawhateaug (noted from 1643), literally "they fertilize," because the abundant little fishes were used by the Indians as fertilizer.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper