• synonyms


[dot-er-uh l]
  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.
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Also dot·trel [do-truh l] /ˈdɒ trəl/.

Origin of dotterel

First recorded in 1400–50, dotterel is from the late Middle English word dotrelle. See dote, -rel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dotterel

Historical Examples of dotterel

  • The dotterel is one of the most interesting of British birds.

    Poachers and Poaching

    John Watson

  • The Dotterel (Pluvialis morinellus) is a little larger than a Blackbird.

    Reptiles and Birds

    Louis Figuier

  • In short, whatever the fowler does, the Dotterel does the same.

  • Such a character as Dotterel is hardly made to allude to the pocula coronata of the Romans.

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

    Three in Norway

    James Arthur Lees

British Dictionary definitions for dotterel



  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
  3. dialect a person who is foolish or easily duped
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Word Origin for 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