(Science: zoology) Any one of several species of fresh water ducks, especially those belonging to the subgenus Mareca, of the genus anas. The common European widgeon (anas penelope) and the American widgeon (A. Americana) are the most important species. The latter is called also baldhead, baldpate, baldface, baldcrown, smoking duck, wheat, duck, and whitebelly. Bald-faced, or green-headed, widgeon, the American widgeon. Black widgeon, the European tufted duck. Gray widgeon. The gadwall. The pintail duck. Great headed widgeon, the poachard. Pied widgeon. The poachard. The goosander. Saw-billed widgeon, the merganser. Sea widgeon. Spear widgeon, the goosander. Spoonbilled widgeon, the shoveler. White widgeon, the smew. Wood widgeon, the wood duck.
Origin: Probably from an old French form of F. Vigeon, vingeon, gingeon; of uncertain origin; cf. L. Vipio, -onis, a kind of small crane.