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[mal-erd] /ˈmæl ərd/
noun, plural mallards (especially collectively) mallard.
a common, almost cosmopolitan, wild duck, Anas platyrhynchos, from which the domestic ducks are descended.
1275-1325; Middle English < Middle French, Old French mallart mallard drake, drake; see male, -ard Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mallard
  • All pyrethrins are highly toxic for certain fish and slightly toxic for birds, such as mallard ducks.
  • mallard mortality rates on key breeding and wintering areas.
  • Knowing a mallard from a merganser has another side: gourmets prefer a corn-fed mallard to the fish duck.
  • The mallard is considered an invasive species in new zealand.
British Dictionary definitions for mallard


noun (pl) -lard, -lards
a duck, Anas platyrhynchos, common over most of the N hemisphere, the male of which has a dark green head and reddish-brown breast: the ancestor of all domestic breeds of duck
Word Origin
C14: from Old French mallart, perhaps from maslart (unattested); see male, -ard
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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Word Origin and History for mallard

c.1300, "wild drake or duck," from Old French malart (12c.) or Medieval Latin mallardus, apparently from male, from Latin masculus (see male), in which case the original sense probably was not of a specific species but of any male wild duck, though the specific sense of "male of the wild duck" was not attested in English until early 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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