Definition of poor-will in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /po͝orˈwil/
(also poorwill)


A small nightjar found mainly in central and western North America.
  • Three genera in the family Caprimulgidae: four species, in particular the common poor-will (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii), which hibernates in cold weather.


Late 19th century: imitative of its call.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: poor-will

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.