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[waw-ter-foul, wot-er-] /ˈwɔ tərˌfaʊl, ˈwɒt ər-/
noun, plural waterfowls (especially collectively) waterfowl.
a water bird, especially a swimming bird.
such birds taken collectively, especially the swans, geese, and ducks.
Origin of waterfowl
1250-1300; Middle English; cognate with German Wasservogel; see water, fowl Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for waterfowl
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Other than waterfowl had chosen this secluded spot for their favourite dwelling-place.

    The Quadroon Mayne Reid
  • A shot at the waterfowl, therefore, could not be thought of.

    The Plant Hunters Mayne Reid
  • Ducks, geese, and other waterfowl, came in myriads with the spring.

    Silver Lake R.M. Ballantyne
  • Partridges can be caught with the hand and waterfowl are pursued with the kayak.

    The Central Eskimo Franz Boas
  • The waterfowl have begun to come more and more to the pond before the house.

  • The mournful whistle of waterfowl in countless flocks was to be heard.

    Through the Heart of Patagonia H. Hesketh Prichard
  • Islands dot the blue waters, and waterfowl frequent the marshes.

  • The stillness of the night was enlivened by millions of waterfowl.

    The Life of Kit Carson Edward S. Ellis
  • The delta is a natural wildlife preserve, particularly for waterfowl and is large enough so that many species can be protected.

    Area Handbook for Romania

    Eugene K. Keefe, Donald W. Bernier, Lyle E. Brenneman, William Giloane, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole
British Dictionary definitions for waterfowl


any aquatic freshwater bird, esp any species of the family Anatidae (ducks, geese, and swans)
such birds collectively
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 waterfowl

c.1300, from water (n.1) + fowl (n.). Cf. Old High German wazzarvogel, Dutch watervogel.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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