Alewife Ale"wife`, n.; pl. {Alewives}. [This word is properly aloof, the Indian name of a fish. See Winthrop on the culture of maize in America, ``Phil Trans.'' No. 142, p. 1065, and Baddam's ``Memoirs,'' vol. ii. p. 131.] (Zo["o]l.) A North American fish ({Clupea vernalis}) of the Herring family. It is called also {ellwife}, {ellwhop}, {branch herring}. The name is locally applied to other related species. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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