Definition of dunlin in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdənlən/

noun (plural same or dunlins)

A migratory sandpiper with a down-curved bill and (in the breeding season) a reddish-brown back and black belly. It is the most common small wader of the northern hemisphere.
  • Calidris alpina, family Scolopacidae.
Example sentences
  • You can see red knots, dunlins, and sandpipers as they rest and forage for food on the beaches, using the untouched island habitat as a safe haven during their journey south.
  • Suddenly hundreds of lapwing, redshank and dunlin all took wing, rapidly climbing high above the flooded flats.
  • In the long-term the scheme will provide ‘compensation’ for other areas where development means natural habitats are lost and they are hoping to attract species such as redshank, dunlin, curlew, golden plover and shelduck.


Mid 16th century: probably from dun1 + -ling, from the grayish-brown winter coloring of its upper parts.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: dun·lin

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