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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for eiderdown

Historical Examples of eiderdown

  • 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

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

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