- any of several flightless, aquatic birds of the family Spheniscidae, of the Southern Hemisphere, having webbed feet and wings reduced to flippers.
- Obsolete. great auk.
Origin of penguin
Examples from the Web for penguin
Reprinted by arrangement with The Penguin Press, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company.Thank Congress, Not LBJ for Great Society
Julian Zelizer, Scott Porch
January 4, 2015
Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC.Make These Barefoot Contessa Chicken Pot Pies
November 29, 2014
This species of penguin was showered with positive coverage throughout the 20th century by a supposedly vigilant press.Lovable ‘Madagascar’ Penguins Are Known to Rape and Torture in Real Life
November 26, 2014
The adjudication of the Daily Beast office was clear and emphatic: penguin, penguin, penguin.
The boy feels rejected and confused, and then hits on a Christmas morning solution, delivering a penguin mate for his penguin.
He'd had a penguin in a snowstorm and he'd been happy with it.The Doorway
Evelyn E. Smith
The penguin's body serves as an oil-vessel, and the moss as a wick.Chatterbox, 1906
The birds comprise a darter, a cormorant, a guillemot, and a penguin.
I now know these friends, in my thoughts of them, as Penguin Persons.Penguin Persons & Peppermints
Walter Prichard Eaton
But there was no alternative, so the vessel was stranded on Penguin Island.Celebrated Travels and Travellers
- any flightless marine bird, such as Aptenodytes patagonica (king penguin) and Pygoscelis adeliae (Adélie penguin), of the order Sphenisciformes of cool southern, esp Antarctic, regions: they have wings modified as flippers, webbed feet, and feathers lacking barbsSee also emperor penguin, king penguin
- an obsolete name for great auk
Word Origin and History for penguin
1570s, originally used of the great auk of Newfoundland (now extinct), shift in meaning to the Antarctic bird (which looks something like it, found by Drake in Magellan's Straits in 1578) is from 1580s. Of unknown origin, though often asserted to be from Welsh pen "head" (see pen-) + gwyn "white" (see Gwendolyn), but Barnhart says the proposed formation is not proper Welsh. The great auk had a large white patch between its bill and eye. The French and Breton versions of the word ultimately are from English.