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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for waterfowl
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Historical Examples
  • Knowing the ground, and the habits of the waterfowl, Bones quickly placed his two friends.

  • Other than waterfowl had chosen this secluded spot for their favourite dwelling-place.

    The Quadroon Mayne Reid
  • Flocks of waterfowl and solemn companies of storks circle over the swamps.

  • A shot at the waterfowl, therefore, could not be thought of.

    The Plant Hunters Mayne Reid
  • Lakes of various sizes were alive with waterfowl, whose shrill and plaintive cries filled the air with wild melody.

    Digging for Gold R.M. Ballantyne
  • Ducks, geese, and other waterfowl, came in myriads with the spring.

    Silver Lake R.M. Ballantyne
  • Broken Tooth had found nesting places of the waterfowl which frequented the swamp.

  • Partridges can be caught with the hand and waterfowl are pursued with the kayak.

    The Central Eskimo Franz Boas
  • But no shells came to disturb the waterfowl among the reeds around.

    Now It Can Be Told Philip Gibbs
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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