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petrel

[ pe-truhl ]
/ ˈpɛ trəl /
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noun
any of numerous tube-nosed seabirds of the families Procellariidae, Hydrobatidae, and Pelecanoididae.
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Origin of petrel

1670–80; earlier pitteral, of uncertain origin; perhaps altered by association with St. Peter (who attempted to walk on the water of Lake Gennesareth), alluding to the bird's habit of flying close to the ocean surface
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use petrel in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for petrel

petrel
/ (ˈpɛtrəl) /

noun
any oceanic bird of the order Procellariiformes, having a hooked bill and tubular nostrils: includes albatrosses, storm petrels, and shearwatersSee also storm petrel

Word Origin for petrel

C17: variant of earlier pitteral, associated by folk etymology with St Peter, because the bird appears to walk on water
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
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