- See under puffin.
- any of several alcidine sea birds of the genera Fratercula and Lunda, having a short neck and a large, compressed, grooved bill, as F. arctica (Atlantic puffin), of the North Atlantic.
Origin of puffin
1300–50; Middle English poffoun, poffin, puffon (compare Anglo-Latin poffo, puffo); origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- any of various northern diving birds of the family Alcidae (auks, etc), esp Fratercula arctica (common or Atlantic puffin), having a black-and-white plumage and a brightly coloured vertically flattened bill: order Charadriiformes
Word Origin for puffin
C14: perhaps of Cornish origin
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
North Atlantic seabird, mid-14c., perhaps connected with puff on notion of appearance, or from some Celtic word (earliest association is with Cornwall and Scilly), and altered by influence of puff.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper