cliff swallow


: a colonial swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota) of the New World with a pale buff rump and dark throat patch that builds mud nests resembling jugs especially under eaves and on cliffs

Illustration of cliff swallow

Illustration of cliff swallow

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Sightings included a willow flycatcher, a white-eyed vireo, a cliff swallow, two purple martins, and two Northern parulas., 19 June 2021 There are 30 or so cliff swallow nests, each on average holding five chicks. Jim Williams, Star Tribune, 11 Aug. 2020 There was also a buff-breasted sandpiper, a cliff swallow, a blue-gray gnatcatcher, and a Northern waterthrush., 2 Sep. 2019 At Gooseberry Neck, there were 84 black scoters, three ruddy turnstones, three roseate terns, a great shearwater, a Northern gannet, two cliff swallows, and two orchard orioles., 30 June 2019 Our place on the Maclaren River has a substantial colony of cliff swallows under the Maclaren bridge. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, 6 June 2019 The four common ones are tree swallows, violet-green swallows, cliff swallows and bank swallows. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, 6 June 2019 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1823, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cliff swallow was in 1823

Dictionary Entries Near cliff swallow

Cite this Entry

“Cliff swallow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2022.

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