Definition of gallinule in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡaləˌn(y)o͞ol/


A marsh bird of the rail family, with mainly black, purplish-blue, or dark green plumage, and a red bill.
  • Genera Porphyrio and Porphyrula (or Gallinula), family Rallidae: several species, including the purple gallinule (Porphyrula martinica), found from the southeastern US to Argentina. See also moorhen.
Example sentences
  • Gender-biased incubation patterns in the rails and gallinules are poorly known, but male nocturnal incubation has been documented in several species, including at least one that is not considered a joint layer.
  • In a familiar oxbow lake, there were gallinules and egrets, even a couple of brightly colored wood ducks and five blue-winged teal.
  • It's a takahe, an extraordinary, huge flightless gallinule long believed to be extinct until rediscovered in a remote mountain range 50 years ago.


Late 18th century: from modern Latin Gallinula (genus term), diminutive of Latin gallina 'hen', from gallus 'cock'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: gal·li·nule

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