av·​o·​cet ˈa-və-ˌset How to pronounce avocet (audio)
: any of a genus (Recurvirostra) of rather large long-legged shorebirds with webbed feet and slender upward-curving bill

Illustration of avocet

Illustration of avocet

Examples of avocet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Tijuana River County Open Space Preserve is a wetland habitat that’s home to the American avocet (a large wading bird with a pink neck and blue legs), beavers, and unforgettable recreational opportunities. Outside Online, 9 Aug. 2022 Cape Cod: Reports continued to reflect some of the most unusual birds, including a magnificent frigatebird at First Encounter Beach in Eastham, a brown booby at Sandy Neck in Barnstable, and an American avocet at High Head in Truro. BostonGlobe.com, 4 Sep. 2021 Swans and 17 species of duck frequent Gillmor, which also provides nesting habitat for various shorebirds, such as the snowy plover, American avocet, Wilson’s phalarope, black-necked stilt, cinnamon teal and gadwall. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 Dec. 2020 The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, along with other partners, constructed mud islands within these managed ponds in 2010 for birds, like snowy plovers, stilts and avocets. Priyanka Runwal, New York Times, 12 Nov. 2019 Rarities last week included an American avocet and a buff-breasted sandpiper at the Bill Forward Pool on Plum Island. BostonGlobe.com, 2 Sep. 2019 An American avocet was seen at North Monomoy, then Forest Beach in Chatham, where tricolored and little blue herons were also seen. BostonGlobe.com, 3 Sep. 2019 At Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, there was an American avocet in the marsh across from parking lot 1. BostonGlobe.com, 30 June 2018 At Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, sightings included an American avocet, 10 piping plovers, an Iceland gull, a tricolored heron, a least bittern, and two orchard orioles. BostonGlobe.com, 17 June 2018 See More

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

Word History


French & Italian; French avocette, from Italian avocetta

First Known Use

1766, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of avocet was in 1766

Dictionary Entries Near avocet

Cite this Entry

“Avocet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/avocet. Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


av·​o·​cet ˈav-ə-ˌset How to pronounce avocet (audio)
: any of several rather large long-legged shorebirds with webbed feet and a slender bill that curves upward

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