noun \ˈpen-gwən, ˈpeŋ-\

: a black-and-white bird that cannot fly, that uses its wings for swimming, and that lives in or near the Antarctic

Full Definition of PENGUIN

:  any of various erect short-legged flightless aquatic birds (family Spheniscidae) of the southern hemisphere

Origin of PENGUIN

obsolete English penguin great auk, perhaps from Welsh pen gwyn white head (applied to the bird in winter plumage)
First Known Use: 1588


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of 17 species (order Sphenisciformes) of flightless seabirds that breed mainly on islands in subantarctic waters and on cool coasts of Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and South America. A few species inhabit temperate regions, and the Galápagos penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus) lives in the equatorial tropics off South America. Species differ mainly in size and head pattern; all have a dark back and a white belly. The smallest species, the little blue penguin (Eudyptula minor), is about 14 in. (35 cm) tall; the largest, the emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri), is almost 4 ft (120 cm) tall. At sea for weeks at a time, flocks feed on fish, squid, and crustaceans.


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