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
2 : eiderdown 1
Recent Examples of eider from the Web
Their squids struggle to free themselves from jaws of king eider drakes.
For example, pilot-biologists discovered the wintering grounds of Spectacled eiders, an Arctic sea duck, after a swift decline based upon aerial survey data.
But that hasn't been good news for some of their prey, including other vulnerable birds, such as eiders.
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.
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.
Origin and Etymology of eider
Dutch, German, or Swedish, from Icelandic æthur, from Old Norse æthr
First Known Use: 1743See Words from the same year
EIDER Defined for Kids
Definition of eider for Students
: a large duck of northern seas with very soft down
Seen and Heard
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