Definitions

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

  • n. Any of various large Old World ducks of the genus Tadorna, especially T. tadorna, having predominantly black and white plumage. Also called shelduck.
  • n. See merganser.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An Old World duck of the genus Tadorna.
  • n. A merganser.
  • n. A male shelduck.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any one of several species of large Old World ducks of the genus Tadorna and allied genera, especially the European and Asiatic species. (Tadorna cornuta syn. Tadorna tadorna), which somewhat resembles a goose in form and habit, but breeds in burrows.
  • n. Any one of the American mergansers.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A duck of either of the genera Tadorna and Casarca.
  • n. The shoveler-duck, Spatula clypeata, whose variegated plumage somewhat resembles that of the sheldrake.
  • n. A merganser or goosander; especially, the red-breasted merganser, also called shelduck.
  • n. The canvasback duck.

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
  • n. Old World gooselike duck slightly larger than a mallard with variegated mostly black-and-white plumage and a red bill

Etymologies

Middle English shelddrake : scheld, variegated; see skel-1 in Indo-European roots + drake, drake.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English sheld- (akin to Middle Dutch shillede ("parti-colored")) + drake ("male duck") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A subspecies of the critically endangered crested shelduck, called Kuroda's sheldrake Tadorna cristata kuroda, once occurred along the southern coast of Korea.

    Southern Korea evergreen forests

  • Or that I can dive down at one side of a Highland loch and come up at the other like a sheldrake?

    Red Cap Tales Stolen from the Treasure Chest of the Wizard of the North

  • The sheldrake ducks also have a fleshy growth on the bill.

    The Log of the Sun A Chronicle of Nature's Year

  • It was Deep-water Peter, holding a gun in one hand, and a dead sheldrake in the other.

    The Best Short Stories of 1921 and the Yearbook of the American Short Story

  • Sometimes, when fishing alongshore with my Indian at the paddle, the canoe would push its nose silently around a point, and I would see the heron's heavy slanting flight already halfway up to the tree-tops, long before our coming had been suspected by the watchful little mother sheldrake, or even by the deer feeding close at hand among the lily pads.

    Wood Folk at School

  • In a lonesome inlet, a sheldrake, lost from the flock, sitting on the water, rocking silently;

    American Feuillage

  • Then her soul took the form of a sheldrake and its mate – those loving birds which, like the turtle-dove, are always constant, – and floating on the liquid pools, they mourned all day long the sad fate of the Princess Pepperina.

    Tales of the Punjab

  • -- The _chakwâ_, male, and _chakwî_, female, is the ruddy goose or sheldrake, known to Europeans as the Brâhmanî duck, _Anas casarca_ or _Casarca rutila_.

    Tales of the Punjab

  • Then her soul took the form of a sheldrake and its mate, -- those loving birds which, like the turtle-dove, are always constant, -- and floating on the liquid pools, they mourned all day long the sad fate of the Princess Pepperina.

    Tales of the Punjab

  • Midsummer Day I saw a sheldrake (probably an escaped bird) flying down the river, looking very splendid in its black, white, and red plumage, in the bright light of the morning.

    The Naturalist on the Thames

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