Adélie penguin


Adé·​lie penguin ə-ˈdā-lē- How to pronounce Adélie penguin (audio)
: a small antarctic penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae)

called also Adélie

Illustration of Adélie penguin

Illustration of adélie penguin

Examples of Adélie penguin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Colonies of Adelie penguins on islands near the U.S. Palmer Station on the central WAP declined by 90% since the mid-1970′s. Dr. James McClintock, al, 26 Jan. 2023 For the past 11 years, scientist and educator Jean Pennycook has invited members of the k-12 community to join her in the project, funded by the National Science Foundation, about Adelie penguins at the Cape Royds Adelie penguin colony in Antarctica. Alycia Crall, Discover Magazine, 27 Jan. 2017 One of the three brushtail penguin species that lives on the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) that will surely suffer is the sea-ice dependent Adelie penguin. Dr. James McClintock, al, 26 Jan. 2023 Almost the entire cohort of chicks from an Adelie penguin colony in the eastern Antarctic was wiped out by starvation in 2017. Katrina Lau, NBC News, 12 Nov. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Adélie penguin.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


from Adélie Land, Antarctica

Note: The claim that the bird was named for the wife of the explorer Jules Dumont-d'Urville seems to be specious. In January, 1840, the stretch of Antarctic coast reached by Astrolabe and Zélée, the ships commanded by Dumont-d'Urville, was named Terre Adélie (Adélie Land) after the explorer's wife (née Adèle-Dorothée Pépin). The first published description of the penguin species was by two members of Dumont's expedition, Jacques Bernard Hombron and Honoré Jacquinot, in Annales des Sciences Naturelles, 2. série, tome 16-Zoologie (1841), p. 320. The penguin is named "Gorfou d'Adélie (Catarrhactes Adeliæ)" and after its description follows simply the notation "Habite les glaces de la terre Adélie" ("[it] inhabits the ice sheets of Adélie Land").

First Known Use

1901, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Adélie penguin was in 1901

Dictionary Entries Near Adélie penguin

Cite this Entry

“Adélie penguin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

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