Definitions

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

  • n. A small Old World merganser (Mergus albellus), the male of which has white and black plumage and a white crest.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small compact diving duck, Mergus albellus, that breeds in the northern taiga of Europe and Asia and winters on sheltered coasts or inland lakes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. small European merganser (Mergus albellus) which has a white crest; -- called also smee, smee duck, white merganser, and white nun.
  • n. The hooded merganser.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A small merganser or fishing-duck, Mergellus albellus, the white nun, or smee, of the family Anatidæ and subfamily Merginæ, inhabiting northerly parts of the eastern hemisphere.

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

  • n. smallest merganser and most expert diver; found in northern Eurasia

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • My next stop, Cheddar reservoir, produced more ducks: a female smew and a pair of ruddy ducks among them.

    Birdwatch: Black redstart

  • "Gavia" is Latin for sea smew or duck, and "immer" has two possible sources.

    columbiatribune.com stories

  • When busy with birdlife, more than 23,000 birds, including 28 species of wildfowl, have been recorded here - including rare types such as scaup, smew, long-tailed duck, scoter and Bewick's swan.

    The Independent - Frontpage RSS Feed

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Comments

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  • Also called the White Nun or Smee. See what Audubon has to say here.

    And a beautiful picture here.

    July 2, 2007