[ dot-er-uhl ]

  1. any of several plovers usually inhabiting upland areas, especially Eudromias morinellus, of Europe and Asia.

  2. British Dialect. a silly, stupid person, especially one who is easily duped.

Origin of dotterel

First recorded in 1400–50, dotterel is from the late Middle English word dotrelle.See dote, -rel
  • Also dot·trel [do-truhl]. /ˈdɒ trəl/.

Words Nearby dotterel Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use dotterel in a sentence

  • Last night we had dotterel and sandpipers for dinner, this morning greenshanks, which are very good birds indeed.

    Three in Norway | James Arthur Lees
  • One remarkable instance of this may be given, that of the dotterel, a bird already mentioned.

    Poachers and Poaching | John Watson
  • The thin pipe of the dotterel fell into the darkness beyond the shallows where the sea-mist lay.

  • The resemblance of the dotterel's egg to a pebble is no greater than the resemblance between many eggs laid in nests and pebbles.

    Field and Hedgerow | Richard Jefferies
  • The summer home of the dotterel is shared, in some instances at least, with that still more mountain bird, the Ptarmigan.

British Dictionary definitions for dotterel



/ (ˈdɒtrəl) /

  1. a rare Eurasian plover, Eudromias morinellus, with reddish-brown underparts and white bands around the head and neck

  2. Australian any similar and related bird, esp of the genus Charadrius

  1. dialect a person who is foolish or easily duped

Origin of dotterel

C15 dotrelle; see dote

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