flamingo

noun fla·min·go \ flə-ˈmiŋ-(ˌ)gō \
Updated on: 20 Nov 2017

Definition of flamingo

plural flamingos also flamingoes
: any of several large aquatic birds (family Phoenicopteridae) with long legs and neck, webbed feet, a broad lamellate bill resembling that of a duck but abruptly bent downward, and usually rosy-white plumage with scarlet wing coverts and black wing quills

Recent Examples of flamingo from the Web

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

Illustration of flamingo

Origin and Etymology of flamingo

obsolete Spanish flamengo (now flamenco), literally, Fleming, German (conventionally thought of as ruddy-complexioned)


FLAMINGO Defined for English Language Learners

flamingo

noun

Definition of flamingo for English Language Learners

  • : a large tropical bird that has pink or red wings and a very long neck and legs


FLAMINGO Defined for Kids

flamingo

noun fla·min·go \ flə-ˈmiŋ-go \

Definition of flamingo for Students

plural flamingos or flamingoes
: a large pale pink to reddish waterbird with very long neck and legs and a broad bill bent downward at the end

History for flamingo

The English word flamingo came from the bird's Spanish name, which was originally spelled flamengo and is now flamenco. In Spanish flamenco literally means “Fleming,” which is a name for the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Belgium. Spaniards conventionally thought of Flemings as fair, but with ruddy faces, and this is probably why they gave this name to the pinkish birds—though no one knows for certain.


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