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.

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Origin of whippoorwill

An Americanism dating back to 1700–10; imitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences 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