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[hwim-bruh l, wim-] /ˈʰwɪm brəl, ˈwɪm-/
a curlew, Numenius phaeopus, of both the New and Old Worlds.
Origin of whimbrel
1520-30; whim (perhaps imitative) + intrusive -b- + -rel Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for whimbrel
Historical Examples
  • On migration the note of the whimbrel may be described as a shrill hee-hee-hee.

    British Sea Birds Charles Dixon
  • The croak of the heron and the call of the whimbrel are common speech with him.

    In the West Country Francis A. Knight
  • Jack Snipe came tumbling after in a hurry, with a stranger called the whimbrel and a Puffin out of breath.

    The Zankiwank and The Bletherwitch S. J. Adair Fitzgerald
  • The islands to the west and north of Scotland are the breeding home of the whimbrel.

British Dictionary definitions for whimbrel


a small European curlew, Numenius phaeopus, with a striped head
Word Origin
C16: from dialect whimp or from whimper, alluding to its cry
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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