noun fla·min·go \flə-ˈmiŋ-(ˌ)gō\

: a large tropical bird that has pink or red wings and a very long neck and legs

plural fla·min·gos also fla·min·goes

Full Definition of FLAMINGO

:  any of several large aquatic birds (family Phoenicopteridae) with long legs and neck, webbed feet, a broad lamellate bill resembling that of a duck but abruptly bent downward, and usually rosy-white plumage with scarlet wing coverts and black wing quills

Illustration of FLAMINGO

Origin of FLAMINGO

obsolete Spanish flamengo (now flamenco), literally, Fleming, German (conventionally thought of as ruddy-complexioned)
First Known Use: 1565
FLAMINGO Defined for Kids


noun fla·min·go \flə-ˈmiŋ-go\
plural fla·min·gos or fla·min·goes

Definition of FLAMINGO for Kids

:  a large pale pink to reddish waterbird with very long neck and legs and a broad bill bent downward at the end

Word History of FLAMINGO

The English word flamingo came from the bird's Spanish name, which was originally spelled flamengo and is now flamenco. In Spanish flamenco literally means Fleming, which is a name for the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Belgium. Spaniards conventionally thought of Flemings as fair, but with ruddy faces, and this is probably why they gave this name to the pinkish birds—though no one knows for certain.


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