Origin of dunlin

1525–35; variant of dunling. See dun2, -ling1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dunlin

Historical Examples of dunlin

  • Its note is described as being louder than that of the Dunlin.

    British Sea Birds

    Charles Dixon

  • Redshank, curlew, and dunlin—cousins of the snipe and woodcock—are all accomplished performers in the art of wooing on the wing.

    Birds in Flight

    W. P. Pycraft

  • The Dunlin is absolutely the commonest Limicoline bird of the shore, and certainly the most widely dispersed.

    British Sea Birds

    Charles Dixon

  • At Kaolak River (July 17, 1951) a dunlin was feeding and flying with a group of four semipalmated sandpipers.

  • Next day in the same general area where winds had driven water on the sand, four semipalmated sandpipers were feeding with dunlin.

British Dictionary definitions for dunlin


  1. a small sandpiper, Calidris (or Erolia) alpina, of northern and arctic regions, having a brown back and black breast in summerAlso called: red-backed sandpiper

Word Origin for dunlin

C16: dun ² + -ling 1
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