- an American plover, Charadrius vociferus, having two black bands around the upper breast.
Origin of killdeer
An Americanism dating back to 1725–35; imitative
Also called killdeer plover.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for killdeer
What impressed me was that I had never seen a killdeer act in this way before.In Pastures Green
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.Game Birds and Game Fishes of the Pacific Coast
Harry Thom Payne
The Killdeer is so called on account of the cry which it utters; it resembles "kill-dee, kill-dee."Endurance Test
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
- a large brown-and-white North American plover, Charadrius vociferus, with two black breast bands and a noisy cry
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
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