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  1. 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)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for avocet

Historical Examples

  • Witness the experience of the Avocet on her voyage from Rotterdam.

    The Fleets Behind the Fleet

    W. MacNeile (William MacNeile) Dixon

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

    An Australian Bird Book

    John Albert Leach

  • The American avocet breeds from Washington southward and spends its winters from central California south.

  • 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 web-footed birds are either long-legged, as the flamingo and avocet, or furnished with short legs.

British Dictionary definitions for avocet


  1. 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