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

  • n. Any of various fish-eating diving ducks of the genus Mergus or related genera, having a slim hooked bill. Also called sheldrake.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various diving ducks of the genera Mergus or Lophodytes, which feed on fish and have a sharply serrated bill.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any bird of the genus Mergus (Merganser), and allied genera of the subfamily Merginae. They are allied to the ducks, but have a sharply serrated bill, eat fish, and dive for food. Also called fish duck.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A bird of the genus Mergus or subfamily Merginǣ; family Anatidæ; a sawbill, garbill, or fishing-duck.
  • n. [capitalized] A genus of Merginæ same as Mergus.

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

  • n. large crested fish-eating diving duck having a slender hooked bill with serrated edges


New Latin : Latin mergus, diver (from mergere, to plunge) + Latin ānser, goose.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin mergus ("waterfowl, diver"), from mergō ("to dip, immerse") + anser ("goose") (Wiktionary)


  • "Well -- it's called a merganser in the books," said Mr. Kincaid.

    The Adventures of Bobby Orde

  • Real chefs like a challenge, so when I walked through the door I'd have a common merganser on my duck strap.

    Best Tasting Ducks

  • Hahaha, when I was reading the article I was thinking the same thing: Make it a challenge, take merganser!

    Best Tasting Ducks

  • At a sale hosted by Christie's in New York in 2007, a record $856,000 was paid for a red-breasted merganser hen made in the 1870s by famed carver Lothrop Holmes, who worked as a cemetery superintendent in Massachusetts.

    Decoy Market, After Decline, Tests Its Wings

  • Brazilian merganser, Mergus octosetaceus, photographed in Brasil, South America.

    Mystery bird: Brazilian merganser, Mergus octosetaceus

  • Response: This is an adult female Brazilian merganser, Mergus octosetaceus, with her newly-hatched chicks in tow one is riding on her back.

    Mystery bird: Brazilian merganser, Mergus octosetaceus

  • This stamp by Albert Gilbert shows a hooded merganser.

    Hunting Duck Stamps

  • A strong wind is pushing the surface water inland against the direction of the sea's retreat and the farther channel is specked with whitecaps among which the only bird currently visible – a merganser – bobs unconcernedly.

    Country diary: South Uist

  • It is when I pick up binoculars to follow its progress that I realise the rocks past which the merganser is now being carried are covered with seals.

    Country diary: South Uist

  • Ever since the afternoon, I had been waiting for her to say something about the hooded merganser—how that bird was so fiercely devoted to her baby, and here I was, planning to flush mine.

    Every little thing in the world


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