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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.
Origin of mallard
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
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Historical Examples
  • It is also made of straw body, grey cock's hackle, and mallard wings—these two methods are very good.

  • mallard's news; he's the biggest figure in the news that there is to-day in this country.

    The Thunders of Silence Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb
  • Its highest point was about two feet above average water level; and on this highest point the mallard duck established her nest.

    The Backwoodsmen Charles G. D. Roberts
  • Potts was ready for any amount of trouble; mallard the same.

  • He was grasping a leash of mallard, and the metallic blue-green and white upon the wings of the ducks shone in the sun.

    The Drunkard Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • It is a fine bird in point of size, but cannot boast the plumage of our mallard.

  • mallard jumped from his chair and shook hands warmly with him.

  • mallard alluded to the disappearance of the prisoner's moustache.

  • Soon a large flight came over, mixed up with mallard and widgeon.

    Marie H. Rider Haggard
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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