- any of several small, tube-nosed seabirds of the family Hydrobatidae, usually having black or sooty-brown plumage with a white rump.
Compare stormy petrel.
Origin of storm petrel
First recorded in 1795–1805
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for storm petrel
Like the puffin and the storm-petrel, razor-bills rarely leave the sea except for breeding.The Isles of Scilly
- any small petrel, such as the northern Hydrobates pelagicus, of the family Hydrobatidae, typically having a dark plumage with paler underpartsAlso called: Mother Carey's chicken, stormy petrel
C19: so named because it was thought to be a harbinger of rough weather
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