from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. 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 Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. 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.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Same as eiderduck.
- n. Same as eider-down.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. duck of the northern hemisphere much valued for the fine soft down of the females
Back-formation from eiderdown.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Icelandic æðar, genitive of æðr, probably reaching English via Swedish eider (now ejder), from a North Germanic root. (Wiktionary)