- a woman who keeps an alehouse
Origin of alewife; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps a NW Atlantic clupeid fish (Alosa pseudoharengus) that swims up rivers to spawn in the spring: used for food and in fertilizers
Origin of alewifeProbably alteration (influenced by alewife2) of obsolete allowes, a type of shad, from French alose, shad, from Old French, from Late Latin alausa.
- (archaic) A woman who keeps an alehouse.
- A North American fish, Clupea vernalis, of the herring family.
- A migrating North American fish, Alosa pseudoharengus.
- Any of several species similar in appearance.
Unknown. Possibly from 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.