shearwater

[ sheer-waw-ter, -wot-er ]
/ ˈʃɪərˌwɔ tər, -ˌwɒt ər /

noun

any of several long-winged petrels of the genus Puffinus that appear to shear the water with their wing tips when flying low.

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Origin of shearwater

First recorded in 1665–75; shear + water
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

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British Dictionary definitions for shearwater

shearwater
/ (ˈʃɪəˌwɔːtə) /

noun

any of several oceanic birds of the genera Puffinus, such as P. puffinus (Manx shearwater), Procellaria, etc, specialized for an aerial or aquatic existence: family Procellariidae, order Procellariiformes (petrels)

Word Origin for shearwater

C17: so named because their wings seem to clip the waves when they are flying low
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