Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[lap-wing] /ˈlæpˌwɪŋ/
a large Old World plover, Vanellus vanellus, having a long, slender, upcurved crest, an erratic, flapping flight, and a shrill cry.
any of several similar, related plovers.
Origin of lapwing
before 1050; Middle English, variant (by association with wing) of lapwinke, Old English hlēapwince plover. See leap, wink1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for lapwing
Historical Examples
  • You resemble the lapwing, who crieth most where her nest is not.

    The Ornithology of Shakespeare James Edmund Harting
  • It is as nervous about the site of its nest as a lapwing is.

  • I notice that Pennant mentions that the lapwing is decoyed into nets by the twirling of looking glass.

    Practical Taxidermy Montagu Browne
  • We had not heard from brother Jack since he went aboard the lapwing.

    Peter Trawl W. H. G. Kingston
  • As the lapwing, having guided Solomon through the desert, best knew what a king should be, he was asked whom they should choose.

  • The name of the lapwing aroused me; she was the brig in which my brother Jack had gone to sea.

    Peter Trawl W. H. G. Kingston
  • Nevertheless, it is only during the non-breeding season that the lapwing can fairly be described as a marine bird.

    British Sea Birds Charles Dixon
  • "Wait a minute—only a minute," she said, and tripped off with the swift glide of a lapwing.

    A Son of Hagar Sir Hall Caine
  • The lapwing, or Green Plover, makes a very simple nest, only scratching a hole and lining it with bent or short grass.

  • And here is a moorcock's; and this—I should know it among a thousand—it's a lapwing's.

    Emily Bront A. Mary F. (Agnes Mary Frances) Robinson
British Dictionary definitions for lapwing


any of several plovers of the genus Vanellus, esp V. vanellus, typically having a crested head, wattles, and spurs Also called green plover, pewit, peewit
Word Origin
C17: altered form of Old English hlēapewince plover, from hlēapan to leap + wincian to jerk, wink1
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for lapwing

Middle English lappewinke (late 14c.), lapwyngis (early 15c.), folk etymology alteration of Old English hleapewince, probably literally "leaper-winker," from hleapan "to leap" + wince "totter, waver, move rapidly," related to wincian "to wink." Said to be so called from "the manner of its flight" [OED] "in reference to its irregular flapping manner of flight" [Barnhart], but the lapwing also flaps on the ground pretending to have a broken wing to lure egg-hunters away from its nest, which seems a more logical explanation. Its Greek name was polyplagktos "luring on deceitfully."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for lapwing

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for lapwing

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for lapwing