Barbary duck


: muscovy duck
Sometimes called Barbary ducks, Muscovy ducks have a bumpy red face that resembles a turkey.Steve Doyle, Huntsville (Alabama) Times, 10 Mar. 2010
especially : the flesh of the Muscovy duck used as food
The kitchen marinates Barbary duck in red wine and serves it in a rich sauce based on aromatic herbs and wild berries. Max Jacobson, Los Angeles Times, 6 May 1994

Word History


after Barbary (North Africa), probably as translation of French canard de Barbarie

Note: The vernacular name reflects the tradition in pre-Linnaean biology (e.g., the Ornithologia of Ulisse Aldrovandi) that the bird was native to North Africa—also apparent in the Linnaean genus name Cairina, literally, "Cairene."

First Known Use

1775, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Barbary duck was in 1775

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Dictionary Entries Near Barbary duck

Cite this Entry

“Barbary duck.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jun. 2023.

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