• synonyms


  1. either of two small, pearl-gray gulls of the genus Rissa, the black-legged R. tridactyla of the North Atlantic and the red-legged and red-billed R. brevirostris, of the Bering Sea, both nesting on narrow cliff ledges and having a rudimentary hind toe.
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Origin of kittiwake

First recorded in 1655–65; imitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for kittiwake

Historical Examples of kittiwake

  • It was on the deck of the Kittiwake, and there was nothing kindergarten about it.

    A Son Of The Sun

    Jack London

  • The child is frightened, or stay, get him to help you with that kittiwake.

    In the Roar of the Sea

    Sabine Baring-Gould

  • The nest of the Kittiwake is situated on ledges of maritime cliffs round our coast, and at the Farne Islands.

  • The kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) was much less numerous than the ivory gull.

  • Still more common than the glaucous gull in the lands of the High North is kryckian, the kittiwake.

British Dictionary definitions for kittiwake


  1. either of two oceanic gulls of the genus Rissa, esp R. tridactyla, having a white plumage with pale grey black-tipped wings and a square-cut tail
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Word Origin for kittiwake

C17: 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