A fish of the Herring family, but, unlike the herring, with a deep notch on the middle of the upper jaw, and without teeth on the tongue and the roof of the mouth. The Chinese shad is an esteemed food-fish. The European shad is little valued for food. The American is the choicest of food-fishes, and ranks highest among American fishes. It is twenty inches long, is bluish and silvery in color, and is found abundantly in the rivers of the Atlantic coast Of the United States.