sea swallow



any of several terns, especially Sterna hirundo.
British Dialect. any of several small petrels, especially the storm petrel, Hydrobates pelagicus.

Origin of sea swallow

First recorded in 1590–1600 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sea swallow

Historical Examples of sea swallow

  • A name on our northern coasts for the Sterna hirundo, the tern, or sea-swallow.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • The Italians compare it with the sea-swallow, which is a gull.

    Love's Meinie

    John Ruskin

  • The sea-swallow is said to get his food in a very singular way.

  • The sea-swallow shot past him, too, with its low mournful cry.

  • The sea-swallow shot over him too, with its low, mournful cry.

    The Deemster

    Hall Caine

British Dictionary definitions for sea swallow

sea swallow


a popular name for tern 1
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