• synonyms


  1. an American plover, Charadrius vociferus, having two black bands around the upper breast.
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Origin of killdeer

An Americanism dating back to 1725–35; imitative
Also called killdeer plover.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for killdeer

Historical Examples of killdeer

  • What impressed me was that I had never seen a killdeer act in this way before.

    In Pastures Green

    Peter McArthur

  • Autumn came and went, and with it the killdeer and their young.

  • Of these the killdeer plover is the most common and the best known.

  • The Killdeer is so called on account of the cry which it utters; it resembles "kill-dee, kill-dee."

    Endurance Test

    Alan Douglas

  • He tore away the ribbon, and knotted it to the stock of Killdeer, which had been the gift of the girl herself.

    The Deerslayer

    James Fenimore Cooper

British Dictionary definitions for killdeer


noun plural -deer or -deers
  1. a large brown-and-white North American plover, Charadrius vociferus, with two black breast bands and a noisy cry
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Word Origin for killdeer

C18: of imitative origin
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 killdeer


also killdee, 1731, American English, species of North American ring-plover, the name imitative of its cry.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper