Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A small Eurasian diving duck (Mergellus albellus), the male of which has white and black plumage and a white crest.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

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

Etymologies

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

[Perhaps akin to earlier and dialectal English smee, any of various duck species; akin to German dialectal schmei-, schmü- (in Schmeiente, Schmünte, widgeon : schmei-, schmü- + German Ente, duck), and to Dutch smient.]

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

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

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

    And a beautiful picture here.

    July 2, 2007