Definition of fulvous
: of a dull brownish yellow : tawny
fulvous was our Word of the Day on 03/11/2011. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
Fulvous has never been a common word, but you are much more likely to encounter it in texts from the 19th century than in texts from the decades since - 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 that has 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.
Origin and Etymology of fulvous
Latin fulvus; perhaps akin to Latin flavus yellow — more at blue
First Known Use: 1664
Seen and Heard
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