ful·​vous | \ ˈfu̇l-vəs How to pronounce fulvous (audio) , ˈfəl- \

Definition of fulvous

: of a dull brownish yellow : tawny

Did you know?

Fulvous has never been a common word. You are most likely to encounter it in texts from the 19th century—unless, that is, you care about ducks. In that case, you might know about a kind of whistling-duck called the fulvous tree duck, which is a brownish duck with long legs and a long neck and an unusual world distribution. It lives in isolated populations in North America, South America, India, and Africa—remarkably without geographic variation. But back to fulvous: it shares a meaning with its direct ancestor, the Latin word fulvus, and fulvus itself is believed to possibly share an ancestor with flavus, Latin for "yellow."

First Known Use of fulvous

1664, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fulvous

Latin fulvus; perhaps akin to Latin flavus yellow — more at blue

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The first known use of fulvous was in 1664

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fulvous whistling-duck

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Cite this Entry

“Fulvous.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fulvous. Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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