verb, transitive + intransitive

al·​lo·​preen ˈa-lə-ˌprēn How to pronounce allopreen (audio)
allopreens; allopreened; allopreening
of a bird
: to preen or groom the skin or feathers of another bird
On other occasions in succeeding weeks the female allopreened her mate, who sometimes solicited by putting his head down.Lawrence Kilham, The American Crow and the Common Raven, 1991
Allopreening in birds is usually directed at the top of the head, a part of the body not easily reached by the recipient.James F. Wittenberger, Animal Social Behavior, 1981

Word History


allo- + preen entry 3

First Known Use

1965, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of allopreen was in 1965

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Cite this Entry

“Allopreen.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

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