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puffin

[puhf-in]
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noun
  1. any of several alcidine sea birds of the genera Fratercula and Lunda, having a short neck and a large, compressed, grooved bill, as F. arctica (Atlantic puffin), of the North Atlantic.

Origin of puffin

1300–50; Middle English poffoun, poffin, puffon (compare Anglo-Latin poffo, puffo); origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for puffin

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He's my friend, and—and I don't like to see him puffin' like that.

    Mixed Faces

    Roy Norton

  • I did know that; but I thought you'd have had on your very best so as to soften the Puffin's heart.

    Lalage's Lovers

    George A. Birmingham

  • We must hope that the Puffin may prove, as she expects, to be a disguised lamb.

    Lalage's Lovers

    George A. Birmingham

  • Puffin turned from him in scorn, still concealing his own bag.

    Miss Mapp

    Edward Frederic Benson

  • “Three and a half to four times, I should say,” repeated Puffin.

    Miss Mapp

    Edward Frederic Benson


British Dictionary definitions for puffin

puffin

noun
  1. any of various northern diving birds of the family Alcidae (auks, etc), esp Fratercula arctica (common or Atlantic puffin), having a black-and-white plumage and a brightly coloured vertically flattened bill: order Charadriiformes

Word Origin

C14: perhaps of Cornish 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 puffin

n.

North Atlantic seabird, mid-14c., perhaps connected with puff on notion of appearance, or from some Celtic word (earliest association is with Cornwall and Scilly), and altered by influence of puff.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper