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[kil-deer] /ˈkɪlˌdɪər/
an American plover, Charadrius vociferus, having two black bands around the upper breast.
Also called killdeer plover.
Origin of killdeer
An Americanism dating back to 1725-35; imitative Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for killdeer
Historical Examples
  • What impressed me was that I had never seen a killdeer act in this way before.

    In Pastures Green Peter McArthur
  • Autumn came and went, and with it the killdeer and their young.

  • Of these the killdeer plover is the most common and the best known.

  • The killdeer is so called on account of the cry which it utters; it resembles "kill-dee, kill-dee."

    Endurance Test

    Alan Douglas
  • He tore away the ribbon, and knotted it to the stock of killdeer, which had been the gift of the girl herself.

    The Deerslayer James Fenimore Cooper
  • The killdeer's crocodile tears are bigger and more touchingly genuine than even the quail's.

    Wild Life Near Home Dallas Lore Sharp
  • The killdeer always builds in a worn-out, pebbly pasture or in a bare, unused field.

    Wild Life Near Home Dallas Lore Sharp
  • Two caterpillar enemies of cotton, the cotton worm and the cotton cutworm, are eaten by the upland plover and killdeer.

    Our Vanishing Wild Life William T. Hornaday
  • The scout seized "killdeer" in his left hand, and elevating it about his head, he shook it in triumph at his enemies.

    The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper
  • A killdeer sweeping the lake close two o'clock one morning awakened him.

    The Harvester Gene Stratton Porter
British Dictionary definitions for killdeer


noun (pl) -deer, -deers
a large brown-and-white North American plover, Charadrius vociferus, with two black breast bands and a noisy cry
Word Origin
C18: of imitative 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 killdeer

also killdee, 1731, American English, species of North American ring-plover, the name imitative of its cry.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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