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[ahy-der-doun] /ˈaɪ dərˌdaʊn/
down, or soft feathers, from the breast of the female eider duck.
a heavy quilt or comforter, especially one filled with eiderdown.
a warm, lightweight knitted or woven fabric of wool, cotton, or man-made fibers, napped on one or both sides, used for sleepwear, infants' clothing, etc.
Origin of eiderdown
First recorded in 1765-75; eider + down2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for eiderdown
Historical Examples
  • She pulled the eiderdown about her head so as not to cry out so loudly that she would be heard.

    The Dust Flower Basil King
  • She jerked up in bed, clutching the eiderdown; her heart beat.

    Bliss, and Other Stories Katherine Mansfield
  • If your eiderdown is getting shabby, why not clean it and re-cover it yourself?

  • It was rather a close afternoon, and she lay on her bed on the top of her eiderdown.

    Just William Richmal Crompton
  • I'll slip on a dressing-gown and curl up on top of the bed under an eiderdown.

    Vision House C. N. Williamson
  • Indeed, he had the cure of three parishes, for that of eiderdown was joined to Stogpingum.

    Barchester Towers

    Anthony Trollope
  • But it was no use; she threw back the eiderdown, and sat bolt upright.

    My Little Sister Elizabeth Robins
  • It was the eiderdown comfort, half-way up the studio staircase!

    When a Man Marries Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • Her lips trembled and her knees were shaking beneath the eiderdown quilt.

    The Voice of the People Ellen Glasgow
  • There is something fat and sinister and German about that eiderdown.

British Dictionary definitions for eiderdown


the breast down of the female eider duck, with which it lines the nest, used for stuffing pillows, quilts, etc
a thick warm cover for a bed, made of two layers of material enclosing a soft filling
(US) a warm cotton fabric having a woollen nap
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for eiderdown

1774; see eider + down (n.). Ultimately from Icelandic æðardun, via a Scandinavian source (cf. Danish ederdunn) or German Eiderdon.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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