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[av-uh-set] /ˈæv əˌsɛt/
any of several long-legged, web-footed shorebirds constituting the genus Recurvirostra, having a long, slender, upward-curving bill.
Origin of avocet
1760-70; < French avocette, probably erroneous spelling for New Latin avosetta < Italian < Upper Italian (< Venetian) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for avocet
Historical Examples
  • Steering a careful course in a sea 'foul with floating mines,' the Cork steamship avocet was attacked by three aeroplanes.

    Merchantmen-at-Arms David W. Bone
  • Witness the experience of the avocet on her voyage from Rotterdam.

    The Fleets Behind the Fleet W. MacNeile (William MacNeile) Dixon
  • The avocet is interesting and attractive in appearance, without having any especially notable characteristics.

  • The Australian avocet is one species of a cosmopolitan genus.

    An Australian Bird Book John Albert Leach
  • The nest of the avocet is a very simple structure, generally made by placing a few blades of grass in a hole in the sand.

    Reptiles and Birds Louis Figuier
  • The avocet's bill is sharply curved upwards, and is one of the most remarkable of such organs.

    An Australian Bird Book John Albert Leach
  • The avocet stands about twenty inches in height, although its body is but little bigger than that of a Pigeon.

    Reptiles and Birds Louis Figuier
  • They are about the size of the avocet, and sometimes 322 attain the height of six-and-twenty inches.

    Reptiles and Birds Louis Figuier
  • Later, we experimented on many oological varieties, especially Stilt's and avocet's eggs.

  • The use of the avocet's recurved bill is clearly explained by the manner in which the bird procures its food.

British Dictionary definitions for avocet


any of several long-legged shore birds of the genus Recurvirostra, such as the European R. avosetta, having black-and-white plumage and a long upward-curving bill: family Recurvirostridae, order Charadriiformes
Word Origin
C18: from French avocette, from Italian avocetta, of uncertain origin
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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