- any of several Old World ducks of the genus Tadorna, certain species of which have highly variegated plumage.
- any of various other ducks, especially the goosander or merganser.
Origin of sheldrake
Examples from the Web for sheldrake
Historical Examples of sheldrake
The down in the nest of the Sheldrake is a beautiful lavender-gray.
The breeding season of the Sheldrake begins in April or May.
Mr. Sheldrake coughed, and the policeman coughed in sympathy.
Ready of speech and smooth of manner was Mr. Sheldrake as he addressed Lily.
She did not see him; all her attention was fixed upon Mr. Sheldrake's words.
Word Origin and History for sheldrake
early 14c., from sheld- "variegated" + drake "male duck." First element cognate with Middle Dutch schillede "separated, variegated," West Flemish schilde, from schillen (Dutch verschillen "to make different"), from Proto-Germanic *skeli-, from PIE root *(s)kel- (1) "to cut" (see scale (n.1)). This is the origin considered most likely, though English sheld by itself is a dialect word attested only from c.1500. OED finds derivation from shield (n.), on resemblance to the patterns on shields, "improbable."