Definition of shelduck in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈʃɛldʌk/
(male also sheldrake /ˈʃɛldreɪk/)

noun (plural same or shelducks)

A large goose-like Old World duck with brightly coloured plumage, typically showing black and white wings in flight.
  • Genus Tadorna, family Anatidae: several species, in particular T. tadorna of Eurasian coasts, with white, greenish-black, and chestnut plumage
Example sentences
  • One of the most attractive of our waterfowl, the goose-like shelduck is renowned for its spectacular moult gatherings along the northern coast of Germany.
  • Low-level attacks against crèches of Canada geese and shelduck are another spectacle, the avocets performing highly attractive ‘butterfly’ flights.
  • Dozens of humans and millions of domesticated birds have died in at least eight Asian countries so far, and now China has said the disease is killing wild bar-headed geese, cormorants, and shelducks.


Middle English (as sheldrake): probably from dialect sheld 'pied' (related to Middle Dutch schillede 'variegated') + duck1. The form shelduck dates from the early 18th century.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: shel|duck

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