Share this entry

Share this page

puffin

Syllabification: puf·fin
Pronunciation: /ˈpəfən
 
/

Definition of puffin in English:

noun

A hole-nesting auk (seabird) of northern and Arctic waters, with a large head and a massive, brightly colored triangular bill.
  • Genera Fratercula and Lunda, family Alcidae: three species, in particular the Atlantic puffin (F. arctica)
Example sentences
  • One would imagine this place to be a paradise of alcids of all types, guillemots, dovekies, puffins, razorbills, murres, and murrelets all splashing around in their black and white finery.
  • Do not let it run free on coastal islands because terns, eider ducks, puffins, and storm petrels are ground nesters.
  • Along thousands of miles of coastline, you will see colonies of seabirds clustered in cliffs - gannets, puffins, guillemots, razorbills, and kittiwakes.

Origin

Middle English (denoting the Manx shearwater): apparently from puff + -ing3, with reference to the Manx shearwater's fat nestlings. The later use is a confusion, by association of nesting habits and habitat.

Definition of puffin in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day jaunt
Pronunciation: jônt
noun
a short excursion or journey for pleasure