from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of several large sea ducks, especially of the genus Somateria of northern regions, having soft, commercially valuable down and predominantly black and white plumage in the male.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Same as eiderduck.
  • noun Same as eider-down.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) Any species of sea duck of the genus Somateria, esp. Somateria mollissima, which breeds in the northern parts of Europe and America, and lines its nest with fine down (taken from its own body) which is an article of commerce; -- called also eider duck. The American eider (S. Dresseri), the king eider (S. spectabilis), and the spectacled eider (Arctonetta Fischeri) are related species.
  • noun Down of the eider duck, much sought after as an article of luxury.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any of the species of the genera Polysticta or Somateria, in the seaduck subfamily Merginae, which line their nests with fine down (taken from their own bodies).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun duck of the northern hemisphere much valued for the fine soft down of the females


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Back-formation from eiderdown.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Icelandic æðar, genitive of æðr, probably reaching English via Swedish eider (now ejder), from a North Germanic root.


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