shearwater

[sheer-waw-ter, -wot-er]
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noun

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

Origin of shearwater

First recorded in 1665–75; shear + water
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for shearwater

shearwater

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