ei·der | \ˈī-dər \

Definition of eider 

1 : any of several large northern sea ducks (genera Somateria and Polystica) having fine soft down that is used by the female for lining the nest

called also eider duck

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Did You Know?

There are several species of large diving ducks called eiders. They are heavy and round-bodied, with a humped bill that produces a characteristic sloping profile. Eiders live in the cold far north. They are the source of eiderdown, feathers that the hen plucks from her breast to line her nest and insulate her eggs. Eiderdown is used as a warm filling for jackets, pillows, quilts, and sleeping bags. Hens are mottled brown, but drakes (males) are boldly patterned, with green pigment on the head.

Examples of eider in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Out on the water, scoters, eiders, ducks, and various species of shorebirds are in almost constant view. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Some words on birds and their impact on Alaska and the rest of the world," 24 June 2018 In winter, tens of thousands of the threatened Steller's eider sea ducks stay in Izembek and molt. Author: Juliet Eilperin, Anchorage Daily News, "Interior Department strikes deal with Alaska village for road through national wildlife refuge," 6 Jan. 2018 Their squids struggle to free themselves from jaws of king eider drakes. Christopher Borrelli, chicagotribune.com, "World Taxidermy Championships: Meet the barking, swimming, flying dead," 26 May 2017 But that hasn't been good news for some of their prey, including other vulnerable birds, such as eiders. Brian Clark Howard, National Geographic, "Watch a Photographer Rescue an Eagle From Thick Mud," 11 Aug. 2016 For example, pilot-biologists discovered the wintering grounds of Spectacled eiders, an Arctic sea duck, after a swift decline based upon aerial survey data. Kristen A. Schmitt, Smithsonian, "This Biologist Defies Gravity (and Glass Ceilings) to Document the Effects of Climate Change," 16 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'eider.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of eider

1743, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for eider

Dutch, German, or Swedish, from Icelandic æthur, from Old Norse æthr

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The first known use of eider was in 1743

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More Definitions for eider


ei·der | \ˈī-dər \

Kids Definition of eider

: a large duck of northern seas with very soft down

More from Merriam-Webster on eider

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about eider

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a state of commotion or excitement

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