• synonyms


  1. any of several wading birds of the family Plataleidae, related to the ibises, having a long, flat bill with a spoonlike tip.
  2. any of various birds having a similar bill, as the shoveler duck.
  3. the paddlefish.
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Origin of spoonbill

First recorded in 1670–80; spoon + bill2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for spoonbill

Historical Examples of spoonbill

  • Might it not have done Lord Spoonbill good to have witnessed this scene?

    Penelope: or, Love's Labour Lost, Vol. 2 (of 3)

    William Pitt Scargill

  • What sort of a boat do you want—schooner, yawl, cutter or spoonbill?

  • They returned with only a red wallabi (Halmaturus agilis) and a spoonbill.

  • This spring, though many remained in the marisma, not a spoonbill nested in the district at all.

    Unexplored Spain

    Abel Chapman

  • Many popular names have been given to it, such as Spadebill, Spoonbill, Duckbill.

    Fast Nine

    Alan Douglas

British Dictionary definitions for spoonbill


  1. any of several wading birds of warm regions, such as Platalea leucorodia (common spoonbill) and Ajaia ajaja (roseate spoonbill), having a long horizontally flattened bill: family Threskiornithidae, order Ciconiiformes
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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

Word Origin and History for spoonbill


1670s, from spoon (n.) + bill (n.2); after Dutch lepelaar (from lepel "spoon").

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper