whippoorwill

[ hwip-er-wil, wip-; hwip-er-wil, wip- ]
/ ˈʰwɪp ərˌwɪl, ˈwɪp-; ˌʰwɪp ərˈwɪl, ˌwɪp- /
|

noun

a nocturnal North American nightjar, Caprimulgus vociferus, having a variegated plumage of gray, black, white, and tawny.

Nearby words

  1. whipple's disease,
  2. whipple's operation,
  3. whipple, fred lawrence,
  4. whipple, george hoyt,
  5. whippletree,
  6. whippy,
  7. whipray,
  8. whips,
  9. whipsaw,
  10. whipsawed

Origin of whippoorwill

An Americanism dating back to 1700–10; imitative

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for whippoorwill


British Dictionary definitions for whippoorwill

whippoorwill

/ (ˈwɪpʊˌwɪl) /

noun

a nightjar, Caprimulgus vociferus, of North and Central America, having a dark plumage with white patches on the tail

Word Origin for whippoorwill

C18: imitative of 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

Word Origin and History for whippoorwill

whippoorwill

n.

1709, imitative of its cry.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper