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smew Line breaks: smew

Definition of smew in English:


A small migratory merganser (diving duck) of northern Eurasia, the male of which has white plumage with a crest and fine black markings.
  • Mergus albellus, family Anatidae
Example sentences
  • There are birds in the garden that are rarely seen in London, such as the common sandpiper, sedge warbler and lesser whitethroat, with smew and goosander on the lake in winter.
  • We are given a wonderful account of visits to Attu, the desolate, westernmost of the Aleutian Islands - and holy grail of birders - to see smews, pochards, and stragglers blowing in from Siberia.
  • The previous day, we'd seen a white-tailed eagle, little gulls, three smew and, most remarkable of all, a great white egret.


Late 17th century: obscurely related to Dutch smient 'wigeon' and German Schmeiente 'small wild duck'.

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