- a large Old World plover, Vanellus vanellus, having a long, slender, upcurved crest, an erratic, flapping flight, and a shrill cry.
- any of several similar, related plovers.
Origin of lapwing
Examples from the Web for lapwing
"Wait a minute—only a minute," she said, and tripped off with the swift glide of a lapwing.A Son of Hagar
Sir Hall Caine
Then the Crow flew away and the Lapwing went on complaining.The Boy Who Knew What The Birds Said
It is as nervous about the site of its nest as a lapwing is.Birds of the Indian Hills
We had not heard from brother Jack since he went aboard the Lapwing.
The name of the Lapwing aroused me; she was the brig in which my brother Jack had gone to sea.
- any of several plovers of the genus Vanellus, esp V. vanellus, typically having a crested head, wattles, and spursAlso called: green plover, pewit, peewit
Word Origin and History for lapwing
Middle English lappewinke (late 14c.), lapwyngis (early 15c.), folk etymology alteration of Old English hleapewince, probably literally "leaper-winker," from hleapan "to leap" + wince "totter, waver, move rapidly," related to wincian "to wink." Said to be so called from "the manner of its flight" [OED] "in reference to its irregular flapping manner of flight" [Barnhart], but the lapwing also flaps on the ground pretending to have a broken wing to lure egg-hunters away from its nest, which seems a more logical explanation. Its Greek name was polyplagktos "luring on deceitfully."