plural noun
Al·​ci·​dae | \ ˈal-sə-ˌdē \

Definition of Alcidae

: a family of diving birds (order Charadriiformes) having short wings and tail, webbed feet, a large head and heavy body, and thick compact plumage, being confined to the northern parts of the northern hemisphere, and including the auks, puffins, guillemots, murres, and related forms

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of Alcidae

1845, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Alcidae

New Latin, from Alca, type genus + -idae

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Alcidae

Time Traveler for Alcidae

Time Traveler

The first known use of Alcidae was in 1845

See more words from the same year

Statistics for Alcidae

Cite this Entry

“Alcidae.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

Comments on Alcidae

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


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!