auk

noun
\ ˈȯk How to pronounce auk (audio) \

Definition of auk

: any of several black-and-white short-necked diving seabirds of the alcid family that breed in colder parts of the northern hemisphere — compare great auk

Illustration of auk

Illustration of auk

Examples of auk in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But around the early 16th century, when European seaman discovered the large auk populations of Newfoundland, the killing of the birds reached rapacious levels. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Humans May Be Solely to Blame for the Great Auk’s Extinction," 28 Nov. 2019 Further back in history, the larger auk species played an important part in colonization and the economy of the Arctic. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Some words on birds and their impact on Alaska and the rest of the world," 24 June 2018 Further back in history, the larger auk species played an important part in colonization and the economy of the Arctic. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Some words on birds and their impact on Alaska and the rest of the world," 24 June 2018 Man has long imperilled beast, as reflected by the extinction of the passenger pigeon, great auk, and Tasmanian tiger. Hannah Beech, The New Yorker, "Pandas, Pangolins, and China’s Fitful Attempts at Wildlife Conservation," 30 Apr. 2017 Another big bird that's no longer with us is the great auk—a favorite of Bill Rapley, the Toronto Zoo's executive director of conservation. Michael Doolittle, National Geographic, "What’s Your Favorite Extinct Species? Scientists’ Top Picks," 16 Apr. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'auk.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of auk

1674, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for auk

Norwegian or Icelandic alk, alka, from Old Norse ālka

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Statistics for auk

Cite this Entry

“Auk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/auk. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for auk

auk

noun
How to pronounce auk (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of auk

: a black-and-white seabird of northern oceans

auk

noun
\ ˈȯk How to pronounce auk (audio) \

Kids Definition of auk

: a black-and-white diving seabird of cold parts of the northern hemisphere

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More from Merriam-Webster on auk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with auk

Spanish Central: Translation of auk

Nglish: Translation of auk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about auk

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