Definition of dotterel in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈdɒt(ə)r(ə)l/

noun (plural same or dotterels)

1A small plover with a brown streaked back and a chestnut or buff belly with black below, breeding in mountainous areas and in the tundra.
  • Genus Eudromias, family Charadriidae: two species.
Example sentences
  • The report highlights the plight of 20 species, including the song thrush, the corncrake, the crossbill, the capercaillie, the dotterel and black grouse.
  • Overgrazing on upland pastures is causing the decline of native species including skylarks, curlews and dotterels.
  • On the other hand, species like the dotterel and snow bunting look set to head northwards, leaving British shores for colder climes.
1.1 [with modifier] Australian /NZ Any small plover, especially one of the genus Charadrius.
Example sentences
  • He told me with great delight that two dotterels and their chick were further up the beach.
  • I saw three dotterels the other weekend.
  • The decline of the New Zealand dotterel is due to several factors, but in particular, introduced predators such as cats, stoats and ferrets.


Middle English: from dote (so named because it is easily caught) + -rel. Compare with dodo.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dot|terel

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.