Any one of several species of food fishes of the Herring family. The American species (Alosa sapidissima
formerly Clupea sapidissima
), which is abundant on the Atlantic coast and ascends the larger rivers in spring to spawn, is an important market fish. The European allice shad, or alose (Alosa alosa
formerly Clupea alosa
), and the twaite shad (Alosa finta
formerly Clupea finta
), are less important species. [1913 Webster
" The name is loosely applied, also, to several other fishes, as the gizzard shad (see under Gizzard), called also mud shad, white-eyed shad, and winter shad.