• synonyms


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.
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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 widgeon

Historical Examples

  • "Fifteen widgeon went off when I returned to the blind," he said, unsmiling.

    Blue-Bird Weather

    Robert W. Chambers

  • The widgeon is but a poor diver, while the canvas-back is one of the very best.

  • Widgeon, run round the corner and call a couple of hansom cabs.

    Mother Carey's Chicken

    George Manville Fenn

  • "And nobody's had the gumption to fight 'em," said Mr. Widgeon.

  • Mr. Widgeon and Mr. Redbrook are pushing their way towards the door.

British Dictionary definitions for widgeon


  1. a variant spelling of wigeon
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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 widgeon


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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper