• synonyms


  1. a wading bird, Cochlearius cochlearius, of tropical America, related to the herons, having a broad bill resembling an inverted boat.
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Origin of boatbill

First recorded in 1770–80; boat + bill2
Also called boat-billed heron [boht-bild] /ˈboʊtˌbɪld/.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for boatbill

Historical Examples of boatbill

  • If we listen to Reinhurdt, we must place it, not alongside of the boatbill, but alongside of the African genus Scopus.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 829, November 21, 1891


  • Whoever has once set eyes on the Boatbill or Savacou (Fig. 140) will never forget the bird, or confound it with any other.

    Reptiles and Birds

    Louis Figuier

  • Bonaparte regards it as intermediate between the pelican and the boatbill.

British Dictionary definitions for boatbill


boat-billed heron

  1. a nocturnal tropical American wading bird, Cochlearius cochlearius, similar to the night herons but with a broad flattened bill: family Ardeidae, order Ciconiiformes
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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