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[awk] /ɔk/
any of several usually black-and-white diving birds of the family Alcidae, of northern seas, having webbed feet and small wings.
Origin of auk
1665-75; < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse alka Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for auk
Historical Examples
  • Oolichuk continued this process until the first auk was finished.

    The Giant of the North R.M. Ballantyne
  • But there was a deplorable lack of information about the haunts and habits of the auk.

    The Land of Thor J. Ross Browne
  • Upon the whole, I thought it would not do to depend upon the auk.

    The Land of Thor J. Ross Browne
  • auk, is a term, in compound words of these dialects, denoting wood.

    The Indian in his Wigwam Henry R. Schoolcraft
  • Of all the auk tribe, so far as my experience goes, the Puffin flies the most.

    British Sea Birds Charles Dixon
  • I feel, somehow, that this man Halyard has got an auk—perhaps two.

    In Search of the Unknown Robert W. Chambers
  • Directly north of the latter island is Mendenhall Glacier, formerly known as the auk.

    Alaska Ella Higginson
  • About three o'clock the Countess of auk's carriage was summoned, and the company began to retire.

    Comical People Unknown
  • Tom Peregrine shot one a few years back; also a puffin, a bird with a parrot-like beak and of the auk tribe.

    A Cotswold Village J. Arthur Gibbs
  • Of the latter some have three toes, as the penguin, auk, &c.; others have four.

British Dictionary definitions for auk


any of various diving birds of the family Alcidae of northern oceans having a heavy body, short tail, narrow wings, and a black-and-white plumage: order Charadriiformes See also great auk, razorbill auk
little auk, dovekie, a small short-billed auk, Plautus alle, abundant in Arctic regions
Word Origin
C17: from Old Norse ālka; related to Swedish alka, Danish alke
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 auk

1670s, from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse alka, probably originally imitative of a water-bird cry (cf. Latin olor "swan," Greek elea "marsh bird").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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