any of several diving ducks of the genus Aythya, especially A. marila (greater scaup), of the Northern Hemisphere, having a bluish-gray bill.

Origin of scaup

1665–75; by ellipsis from scaup duck, probably with Scots, N dial. scaup, scalp mussel bed (of uncertain origin)
Also called scaup duck. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for scaup

Historical Examples of scaup

  • Another of the sea-ducks, the scaup, is also taken in large numbers in this way.

  • These ducks are perhaps better known as Blue-bills, than as Scaup Ducks.

    Bird Guide

    Chester A. Reed

  • In flight, the dark wings are different from the white-edged wings of scaup.

    Ducks at a Distance

    Robert W. Hines

  • The scaup came down the sky in dark masses, giving a rippling purr as they flew.

    Wild Folk

    Samuel Scoville

  • The food of the Scaup Duck consists largely of molluscs, but crustaceans and marine plants are also eaten by this species.

    British Sea Birds

    Charles Dixon

British Dictionary definitions for scaup


scaup duck


either of two diving ducks, Aythya marila (greater scaup) or A. affinis (lesser scaup), of Europe and America, having a black-and-white plumage in the maleAlso called (US): bluebill, broadbill

Word Origin for scaup

C16: Scot variant of scalp
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