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2017 Word of the Year

shearwater

[sheer-waw-ter, -wot-er] /ˈʃɪərˌwɔ tər, -ˌwɒt ər/
noun
1.
any of several long-winged petrels of the genus Puffinus that appear to shear the water with their wing tips when flying low.
Origin of shearwater
1665-1675
First recorded in 1665-75; shear + water
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for shearwater
Historical Examples
  • The upper parts of this shearwater are black, the lower parts white.

    British Sea Birds Charles Dixon
  • Coultas (field notes) gives an interesting account of nesting activities of this shearwater at the Palau Islands.

British Dictionary definitions for shearwater

shearwater

/ˈʃɪəˌwɔːtə/
noun
1.
any of several oceanic birds of the genera Puffinus, such as P. puffinus (Manx shearwater), Procellaria, etc, specialized for an aerial or aquatic existence: family Procellariidae, order Procellariiformes (petrels)
Word Origin
C17: so named because their wings seem to clip the waves when they are flying low
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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