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[greeb] /grib/
any diving bird of the family Podicipedidae, related to the loons, but having a rudimentary tail and lobate rather than webbed toes.
Origin of grebe
First recorded in 1760-70, grebe is from the French word grèbe < ? Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for grebe
Historical Examples
  • Then Mrs. grebe takes her place on it, and proceeds to lay and hatch her eggs.

  • A summary word or two, first, respecting the grebe family, will be useful.

    Love's Meinie John Ruskin
  • The parent will sometimes dive with its offspring, just as the Little grebe will do.

    British Sea Birds Charles Dixon
  • This grebe is a late breeder, the eggs not being laid before June.

    British Sea Birds Charles Dixon
  • In its nesting economy the Little grebe closely resembles its congeners.

    British Sea Birds Charles Dixon
  • The nest of the grebe is usually placed in a tuft of rushes, on the edge of the water.

    Reptiles and Birds Louis Figuier
  • In regard to size this grebe comes next to the Western, being 19 in.

    The Bird Book Chester A. Reed
  • The Least grebe is by far the smallest of the grebes in this country, being but 10 in.

    The Bird Book Chester A. Reed
  • Specimens of this grebe were obtained near Cordova by White in 1882.

  • The nests of the Little grebe may be found floating in every rushy pool.

British Dictionary definitions for grebe


any aquatic bird, such as Podiceps cristatus (great crested grebe), of the order Podicipediformes, similar to the divers but with lobate rather than webbed toes and a vestigial tail
Word Origin
C18: from French grèbe, of unknown 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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Word Origin and History for grebe

diving bird, 1766, from French grèbe, of unknown origin, possibly from Breton krib "a comb," since some species are crested.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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