• synonyms


[hwim-bruh l, wim-]
  1. a curlew, Numenius phaeopus, of both the New and Old Worlds.
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Origin of whimbrel

1520–30; whim (perhaps imitative) + intrusive -b- + -rel
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for whimbrel

Historical Examples of whimbrel

  • On migration the note of the Whimbrel may be described as a shrill hee-hee-hee.

    British Sea Birds

    Charles Dixon

  • The croak of the heron and the call of the whimbrel are common speech with him.

    In the West Country

    Francis A. Knight

  • Jack Snipe came tumbling after in a hurry, with a stranger called the Whimbrel and a Puffin out of breath.

  • The islands to the west and north of Scotland are the breeding home of the Whimbrel.

British Dictionary definitions for whimbrel


  1. a small European curlew, Numenius phaeopus, with a striped head
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Word Origin for whimbrel

C16: from dialect whimp or from whimper, alluding to its cry
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