plural noun

: 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

Word History


New Latin, from Alca, type genus + -idae

First Known Use

1845, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Alcidae was in 1845

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Dictionary Entries Near Alcidae

Cite this Entry

“Alcidae.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

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