any of three species of small, aquatic birds of the family Phalaropodidae, resembling sandpipers but having lobate toes.

Origin of phalarope

1770–80; < French < New Latin Phalaropus genus name < Greek phalār(ís) coot + -o- -o- + -pous -footed; see -pod Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for phalarope

Historical Examples of phalarope

  • Though not exactly web-footed, the phalarope swims with the greatest ease.

    Love's Meinie

    John Ruskin

  • The gyrfalcon can certainly not catch a phalarope in flight.

  • One little bird not larger than a sparrow,—it may have been a Phalarope.

    Cape Cod

    Henry D. Thoreau

  • Other shorebirds that eat leaf-beetles are the Wilson phalarope and dowitcher.

    Our Vanishing Wild Life

    William T. Hornaday

  • It may thus be inferred that the pairing habits of this Phalarope are most singular, the female conducting the courtship!

    British Sea Birds

    Charles Dixon

British Dictionary definitions for phalarope



any aquatic shore bird of the family Phalaropidae, such as Phalaropus fulicarius (grey phalarope), of northern oceans and lakes, having a long slender bill and lobed toes: order Charadriiformes

Word Origin for phalarope

C18: via French from New Latin Phalaropus, from Greek phalaris coot + pous foot
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