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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Eider \Ei"der\, n. [Of Scand. origin, cf. Icel [ae]?r; akin to Sw. eider, Dan. ederfugl.] (Zo["o]l.) Any species of sea duck of the genus Somateria, esp. Somateria mollissima, which breeds in the northern parts of Europe and America, and lines its nest with fine down (taken from its own body) which is an article of commerce; -- called also eider duck. The American eider ( S. Dresseri), the king eider ( S. spectabilis), and the spectacled eider ( Arctonetta Fischeri) are related species.

Eider down. [Cf. Icel. [ae][eth]ard[=u]n, Sw. eiderd[=u]n, Dan. ederduun.] Down of the eider duck, much sought after as an article of luxury.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

type of duck, 1743, from German Eider or Dutch eider, both from Old Norse æþar, genitive of æþr "duck," according to Watkins from a North Germanic root *athi-, from Proto-Germanic *ethi-, from PIE "probable root" *eti- "eider duck."


n. Any of the species of the genus ''Polysticta'' or ''Somateria'', in the seaduck subfamily Merginae, which line their nests with fine down (taken from their own bodies).


n. duck of the northern hemisphere much valued for the fine soft down of the females [syn: eider duck]

Eider (river)

The Eider (; ; Latin: Egdor or Egdore) is the longest river in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. The river starts near Bordesholm and reaches the southwestern outskirts of Kiel on the shores of the Baltic Sea, but flows to the west, ending in the North Sea. The middle part of the Eider was appropriated for use as part of the Kiel Canal.

In the Early Middle Ages the river is believed to have been the border between the related Germanic tribes, the Jutes and the Angles, who along with the neighboring Saxons crossed the North Sea from this region during this period and settled in England. During the High Middle Ages the Eider was the border between the Saxons and the Danes, as reported by Adam of Bremen in 1076. For centuries it divided Denmark and the Holy Roman Empire. Today it is the border between Schleswig and Holstein, the northern and southern parts, respectively, of the modern German state of Schleswig-Holstein.

The Eider flows through the following towns: Bordesholm, Kiel, Rendsburg, Friedrichstadt and Tönning. Near Tönning it flows into the North Sea. The estuary has tidal flats and brackish water. The mouth of the river is crossed by a closeable storm surge barrier, the Eider Barrage.

Eider (disambiguation)

Eider are large seaducks in the genus Somateria, including:

  • Common eider (Somateria mollissima)
  • Spectacled eider (Somateria fischeri)
  • King eider (Somateria spectabilis)

Eider may also refer to:

  • Steller's eider (Polysticta stelleri) of the duck subfamily Merginae
  • Eider (river), in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
  • Eider (brand), French company
  • Max Eider (born Peter Millson), a guitarist and songwriter
  • Rabbi Shimon Eider, a rabbi
  • Eider Arévalo (born 1993), Colombian racewalker
  • Eider Torres, (born 1983), baseball player from Venezuela
Fictional characters
  • Eider Duck, of the Disney Duck family

Eiders are large seaducks in the genus Somateria. The scientific name is derived from Ancient Greek somatos "body" and erion "wool", referring to eiderdown.

The three extant species all breed in the cooler latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere.

The down feathers of eider ducks, and some other ducks and geese, are used to fill pillows and quilts—they have given the name to the type of quilt known as an eiderdown.

Steller's eider (Polysticta stelleri) is in a different genus despite its name.

The call of the duck has been likened to sound of "surprised pantomime dames, or even the comedian Frankie Howerd".

Eider (brand)

Eider is a French brand and a company that makes sports garments for mountaineering and ice climbing.

Eider (Amt Kirchspielslandgemeinde)

Kirchspielslandgemeinden Eider is an Amt ("collective municipality") in the district of Dithmarschen, in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Its seat is in Hennstedt. It was formed on 1 January 2008 from the former Ämter Kirchspielslandgemeinde Hennstedt, Kirchspielslandgemeinde Lunden and Kirchspielslandgemeinde Tellingstedt. The Amt is named after the Eider River.

The Amt Kirchspielslandgemeinden Eider consists of the following municipalities (with population in 2005):


  1. Barkenholm (189)
  2. Bergewöhrden (36)
  3. Dellstedt (801)
  4. Delve (737)
  5. Dörpling (611)
  6. Fedderingen (277)
  7. Gaushorn (213)
  8. Glüsing (119)
  9. Groven (128)
  10. Hemme (514)
  11. Hennstedt (1.880)
  12. Hollingstedt (338)


  1. Hövede (64)
  2. Karolinenkoog (132)
  3. Kleve (452)
  4. Krempel (663)
  5. Lehe (1.160)
  6. Linden (876)
  7. Lunden (1.655)
  8. Norderheistedt (144)
  9. Pahlen (1.168)
  10. Rehm-Flehde-Bargen (609)
  11. Sankt Annen (355)
  12. Schalkholz (595)


  1. Schlichting (239)
  2. Süderdorf (396)
  3. Süderheistedt (596)
  4. Tellingstedt (2.493)
  5. Tielenhemme (178)
  6. Wallen (37)
  7. Welmbüttel (465)
  8. Westerborstel (98)
  9. Wiemerstedt (165)
  10. Wrohm (732)

Usage examples of "eider".

Sally she volunteer, and dar she had been libing eber since, hoping all de time eider dat I should pass through dere or dat she should hear from Philadelphy dat I had got dere.

During the fall and winter, the refuge is home to thousands of eiders, scoters, and red-breasted mergansers.

St Cuthbert, on Lindisfarne, had preached to the eider ducks which still nested on Bowmont Point, and from the white needle of Longstone lighthouse, Grace Darling had rowed into legend, bringing rescue to the shipwrecked wretches on Harcar Rock.

The landlord was near spraining his wrist, and I told him for heaven's sake to quit--the bed was soft enough to suit me, and I did not know how all the planing in the world could make eider down of a pine plank.

The arctic column showed a polar bear, a walrus, a Greenland seal, a reindeer, a right whale, an eider duck.

Over the treetops rose strings of eiders, forming V's as they gained height, the males white with black bellies and caps, the females gray.

The eiders hung in rows all the way to the ceiling, feet bound, heads resting on dirty plumage.

More eiders he saw, and later in the day, off the island of Saltholm, some very curious sea-duck that he could not identify, that he had no time to identify, for the breeze had freshened steadily, and now the Ariel was running at eight knots.

At one point they stopped and looked off at a huge flock of eiders floating over the marsh like a dark plume of smoke.

Around him were breeding terns and gulls, snow geese and murres, eiders and dovekies.

Eider Danes, a faction who wished to make Schleswig Danish as far as the River Eider.

Their place on the menu was more easily satisfied by the fat, low-flying ptarmigan and willow grouse of the steppes brought down by swift stones, and the autumn visitations of geese and eider ducks snared by nets as they landed on marshy mountain ponds.