American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. See oldsquaw.
- n. Any of various fishes such as the alewife and the menhaden.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The long-tailed sea-duck, Harelda glacialis, of the family Anatidæ and the subfamily Fuligulinæ. The male in the breeding season has the two middle tail-feathers lance-linear and long-exserted. The bill is black, tipped with orange; the plumage is blackish or white, varied with reddish and silver-gray tints. In winter the long tail-feathers do not exist, and the reddish parts are replaced by gray. The oldwife breeds in the arctic regions, both on sea-coasts and on large inland waters, and in winter is generally dispersed in temperate regions. It is a lively, voluble duck, having a kind of song; it is an expert diver and a rank feeder, and the flesh is not savory. The nest is placed on the ground; the eggs are 6 or 7 in number, drab-colored, and about 2 inches long by 1½ broad. Also called old billy, old granny, old Injun, old molly, old-squaw, and south-southerly.
- n. In ichthyology, one of several different fishes. The alewife.
- n. A cowl for a chimney, to prevent its smoking.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. (Zoöl.), (Zoöl.) A duck; the old squaw.
- n. (Zoöl.) The local name of various fishes, as the European black sea bream (Cantharus lineatus), the American alewife, etc.
- n. (Zoöl.) A tropical Atlantic fish (Bessy cerca).
- n. (Zoöl.) A common long-tailed sea duck (Clangula hyemalis) of the northern parts of the US; also called
- n. a common long-tailed sea duck of the northern parts of the United States
- n. tropical Atlantic fish
“As these are in the freshes, so the salts afford at certain times of the year many other kinds of fish in infinite shoals, such as the oldwife, a fish not much unlike a herring, and the sheepshead, a sort of fish which they esteem in the number of their best.”
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