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[skyoo-uh] /ˈskyu ə/
Also called bonxie. any of several large brown gull-like predatory birds of the genus Catharacta, related to jaegers, especially C. skua (great skua) of colder waters of both northern and southern seas.
British. jaeger (def 1).
Origin of skua
1670-80; < Faeroese skū(g)vur; cognate with Old Norse skūfr tassel, tuft, also skua (in poetry), akin to shove1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for skua
Historical Examples
  • His special dish was penguins and skua gulls in cream sauce.

  • Few birds are so courageous in defence of their nests as the skua.

    British Sea Birds Charles Dixon
  • But in that same instant the long beak of the skua caught it by the head.

    Neighbors Unknown Charles G. D. Roberts
  • More nimble than he, the skua evaded the blow, and caught him by the neck.

    Neighbors Unknown Charles G. D. Roberts
  • From the promontory came a cry: abrupt, strident—the hunger-note of a skua.

  • The flight of the skua is stronger and more rapid than that of any other Gull.

  • Giant petrels and skua gulls swarmed in flocks round the seals' and penguins' carcases.

    The Home of the Blizzard Douglas Mawson
  • skua gulls mysteriously appeared, snow petrels hovered along the rocky ridges and odd seals landed on the wind-raked harbour ice.

    The Home of the Blizzard Douglas Mawson
  • Masses of Adelie penguins and chicks constituted the main population, and skua gulls with eggs were also observed.

    The Home of the Blizzard Douglas Mawson
  • Attached to each rookery was a pair of skua gulls, who swooped down and quickly flew off with any eggs left for a moment untended.

    The Home of the Blizzard Douglas Mawson
British Dictionary definitions for skua


any predatory gull-like bird of the family Stercorariidae, such as the great skua or bonxie (Stercorarius skua) or arctic skua (S. parasiticus) both of which harass terns or gulls into dropping or disgorging fish they have caught
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin, from Faeroese skūgvur, from Old Norse skūfr
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 skua

type of predatory gull, 1670s, from Faeroese skugvur, related to Old Norse skufr "seagull, tuft, tassel," and possibly to skauf "fox's tail."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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