noun \ˈpə-fən\

: a black-and-white seabird that lives in the north Atlantic and has a large, colorful bill

Full Definition of PUFFIN

:  any of several seabirds (genera Fratercula and Lunda) of the northern hemisphere having a short neck and a deep grooved parti-colored laterally compressed bill

Illustration of PUFFIN

Origin of PUFFIN

Middle English pophyn
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with PUFFIN


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Common puffin (Fratercula arctica)—Ben Goldstein/Root Resources

Any of three species (family Alcidae) of diving birds with a large, brightly coloured, triangular beak. Puffins nest in large colonies on seaside and island cliffs. Both parents carry up to 10 fish crosswise in the bill to the nest (a deep burrow); they feed the single chick for about six weeks. They then leave, and the chick waits alone for its flight feathers to grow, living on stored fat, and then flies out to sea by itself. The common, or Atlantic, puffin (Fratercula arctica) is about 12 in. (30 cm) long. The Pacific species are the horned puffin (F. corniculata) and the tufted puffin (Lunda cirrhata).

Variants of PUFFIN

puffin or sea parrot


Next Word in the Dictionary: puffing adder
Previous Word in the Dictionary: puffily
All Words Near: puffin

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up puffin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).