[ awk ]
/ ɔk /


any of several usually black-and-white diving birds of the family Alcidae, of northern seas, having webbed feet and small wings.

Nearby words

  1. augustinian of the assumption,
  2. augustinians,
  3. augustly,
  4. augustus,
  5. augustus caesar,
  6. auklet,
  7. aulard,
  8. auld,
  9. auld lang syne,
  10. auld reekie

Origin of auk

1665–75; < Scandinavian; compare Old Norse alka Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for auk

British Dictionary definitions for auk


/ (ɔːk) /


any of various diving birds of the family Alcidae of northern oceans having a heavy body, short tail, narrow wings, and a black-and-white plumage: order CharadriiformesSee also great auk, razorbill auk
little auk or dovekie a small short-billed auk, Plautus alle, abundant in Arctic regions

Word Origin for auk

C17: from Old Norse ālka; related to Swedish alka, Danish alke

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

Word Origin and History for auk



1670s, from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse alka, probably originally imitative of a water-bird cry (cf. Latin olor "swan," Greek elea "marsh bird").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper