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[kan-vuh s-bak] /ˈkæn vəsˌbæk/
noun, plural canvasbacks (especially collectively) canvasback.
a North American wild duck, Aythya valisineria, the male of which has a whitish back and a reddish-brown head and neck.
Origin of canvasback
1595-1605, Americanism; after the canvaslike color of its back Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for canvasback
Historical Examples
  • He is a twin brother of the canvasback, and quite as good to eat.

    Citizen Bird Mabel Osgood Wright and Elliott Coues
  • canvasback ducks are considered the finest of the water-fowls for the table.

  • When I have a canvasback duck before me I dont think of anything else while its there.

    Mr. Munchausen
    John Kendrick Bangs
  • The Redhead closely resembles in flavor the canvasback, and often is mistaken for it.

    The Century Cook Book Mary Ronald
  • The canvasback is in great demand on account of the superior quality of its flesh as food.

    Endurance Test Alan Douglas
  • The red-head, both species of the scaups, the canvasback and the ruddy are commonly found on the fresh-waters.

  • Helena herself selected two woodcock and approved the judgment of Jean in canvasback.

    The Lady and the Pirate Emerson Hough
  • Bingham bowed over his glass, and regretted that canvasback ducks and terrapin were not yet in season.

    The Red City S. Weir Mitchell
  • The canvasback is superior in flavor to any other species of wild duck, and is much esteemed.

    The Century Cook Book Mary Ronald
  • The canvasback is a late and temporary visitant of our lakes, marshes, and tide flats, on his journey to the south.

    Memoirs of Orange Jacobs Orange Jacobs
British Dictionary definitions for canvasback


noun (pl) -backs, -back
a North American diving duck, Aythyra valisineria, the male of which has a white body and reddish-brown head
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
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