any of several long-winged seabirds, often used as food, especially Puffinus tenuirostris (short-tailed shearwater) of Australia and Puffinus griseus (sooty shearwater), which breeds in the Southern Hemisphere and winters in the Northern Hemisphere.
THIS WEEK’S WORD OF THE DAY QUIZ IS POSITIVELY FELICIFIC
Do you study our Words of the Day with great assiduity? See how many you remember from March 3 to April 5!
Question 1 of 7
Origin of mutton bird
First recorded in 1840–50
Words nearby mutton bird
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for muttonbird
/ (ˈmʌtənˌbɜːd) /
Australian any of several shearwaters, having a dark plumage with greyish underparts, esp the sooty shearwater (Puffinus griseus) of New Zealand, which is collected for food by Māoris. It inhabits the Pacific Ocean and in summer nests in Australia and New Zealand
any of various petrels esp the short tailed shearwater, Puffinus tenuirostris, which inhabits the Pacific Ocean and in summer nests in S Australia
Word Origin for muttonbird
C19: so named because their cooked flesh is claimed to taste like mutton
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