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[wij-uh n]
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noun, plural wig·eons, (especially collectively) wig·eon.
  1. widgeon.


or wig·eon

[wij-uh n]
noun, plural widg·eons, (especially collectively) widg·eon for 1.
  1. any of several common freshwater ducks related to the mallards and teals in the genus Anas, having metallic green flight feathers, a white wing patch, and a buff or white forehead, including A. penelope of Eurasia and North Africa, A. sibilatrix of South America, and the baldpate, A. americana, of North America.
  2. Obsolete. a fool.

Origin of widgeon

1505–15; perhaps < an AF correspondent of French vigeon < Vulgar Latin; compare Medieval Latin vipiō kind of crane (derivative of vip- imitative of bird's cry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for wigeon

Historical Examples

  • The same remarks may be said to apply to the Teal, the Wigeon, and some few others.

    Among the Birds in Northern Shires

    Charles Dixon

  • By four oclock we had secured, in five drives, eleven geese and a wigeon.

    Unexplored Spain

    Abel Chapman

  • For the following statements, see on the wigeon, Loudon’s ‘Mag.

  • Many of the Wigeon and other ducks, and all Golden Plovers are now gone.

  • Other species also form magaonas, but more rarely and never in so conspicuous a manner as the wigeon.

    Unexplored Spain

    Abel Chapman

British Dictionary definitions for wigeon



  1. a Eurasian duck, Anas penelope, of marshes, swamps, etc, the male of which has a reddish-brown head and chest and grey and white back and wings
  2. American wigeon or baldpate a similar bird, Anas americana, of North America, the male of which has a white crown

Word Origin

C16: of uncertain origin


  1. a variant spelling of wigeon
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

Word Origin and History for wigeon



migratory wild duck, 1510s, perhaps from some variant of French vigeon, which some trace to Latin vipionem (nominative vipio), "a kind of small crane," a Balearic word, perhaps imitative. OED, however, finds all this "very dubious."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper