American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth 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.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A duck of either of the genera Tadorna and Casarca. The common sheldrake is T. vulpanser, or T. cornuta, the so-called links goose, sly goose, skeelgoose or skeelduck, burrow- or barrow-duck, bergander, etc., of Great Britain and other parts of Europe, Asia. and Africa. This is a duck, though with somewhat the figure and carriage of a goose, and belongs to the Anatinæ (having the hallux unlobed), but is maritime, and notable for nesting in underground burrows. It is about as large as the mallard, and has a similar glossy greenish-black head and neck; the plumage is otherwise varied with black, white, and chestnut in bold pattern; the bill is carmine, with a frontal knob, and the legs are flesh-colored. This bird is half-tamed in some places, like the eider-duck, and laid under contribution for its eggs. The ruddy sheldrake or Brahminy duck is T. casarca, or Casarcarutila, wide-ranging: like the foregoing. Each of these sheldrakes is represented in Australian, Papuan, and Polynesian regions by such forms as Tadorna radjah. Casarca tador-noides, and C. variegata. No sheldrakes properly so called are American.
- 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.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) 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.
- 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
- From Middle English sheld- (akin to Middle Dutch shillede ("parti-colored")) + drake ("male duck") (Wiktionary)
- Middle English shelddrake : scheld, variegated; see skel-1 in Indo-European roots + drake, drake. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“A subspecies of the critically endangered crested shelduck, called Kuroda's sheldrake Tadorna cristata kuroda, once occurred along the southern coast of Korea.”
“Or that I can dive down at one side of a Highland loch and come up at the other like a sheldrake?”
“The sheldrake ducks also have a fleshy growth on the bill.”
“It was Deep-water Peter, holding a gun in one hand, and a dead sheldrake in the other.”
“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.”
“In a lonesome inlet, a sheldrake, lost from the flock, sitting on the water, rocking silently;”
“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.”
“-- The _chakwâ_, male, and _chakwî_, female, is the ruddy goose or sheldrake, known to Europeans as the Brâhmanî duck, _Anas casarca_ or _Casarca rutila_.”
“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.”
“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.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘sheldrake’.
birds with singular names from
at least 9 English dictionaries
Hopefully, I'll be using this site for more than one year. It will be fun then to look back and see what new words I found worthy of notice in any given year.
All words spotted in 2008...
Looking for tweets for sheldrake.