gannet

noun
gan·​net | \ ˈga-nət How to pronounce gannet (audio) \
plural gannets also gannet

Definition of gannet

: any of a genus (Morus of the family Sulidae, the gannet family) of large fish-eating seabirds that breed in colonies chiefly on offshore islands

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There are three oceanic bird species called gannet. They are found in the North Atlantic, where they are the largest seabirds, and in temperate seas around Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. The adults are mainly white with black-tipped wing feathers and a large, yellowish or buff-colored head, with black around the eyes. They have a tapered beak and pointed tail. They dive with half-closed wings to catch fish and squid. They waddle on land, but are expert fliers, spending most of their lives over water. They nest in dense colonies on cliffs. The largest species is the 40-in (100-cm) northern gannet.

Examples of gannet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The team then stuffed two real northern gannet wings with cotton and propped them up in a wind tunnel. Mennatalla Ibrahim, Science | AAAS, 7 July 2021 That statistic includes common loons, northern gannets, double-crested cormorants, royal terns, Wilson’s plovers, black skimmers, and seaside sparrows, to name a few. National Geographic, 17 Apr. 2020 Marine birds also included mallards, common scoters (a large sea duck), geese, cormorants, gannets, shags, auks, egrets and loons. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 26 Mar. 2020 Andrew’s Point in Gloucester : There was a dickcissel along with good numbers of seabirds such as three Forester’s terns and 175 Northern gannets. BostonGlobe.com, 19 Aug. 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. BostonGlobe.com, 30 June 2019 Robertson père got 6,000 acres of undulating pastureland and forest atop craggy sea cliffs, one of which is home to the world’s largest mainland colony of gannets. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, 17 Jan. 2019 Look out on the cliffs below the trail for breeding pelagic and Brandt’s cormorants, as well as the lonely northern gannet. Jill K. Robinson, SFChronicle.com, 12 July 2018 Nigel accepted the invitation, arriving in 2013 as the island's first gannet in 40 years. The Washington Post, NOLA.com, 3 Feb. 2018

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

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First Known Use of gannet

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gannet

Middle English ganate, gante, going back to Old English ganot, ganet "a seabird, probably Morus bassanus," going back to Germanic *ganuta- "gander" (whence Middle Dutch ghent "gander," Old High German ganazzo, ganzo), from *gan- (base of *gan-s- "goose") + *-uta-, suffix of animal names — more at goose entry 1

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The first known use of gannet was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near gannet

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gannetry

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Cite this Entry

“Gannet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gannet. Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for gannet

gannet

noun

English Language Learners Definition of gannet

: a large ocean bird that eats fish

gannet

noun
gan·​net | \ ˈga-nət How to pronounce gannet (audio) \

Kids Definition of gannet

: a large bird that eats fish and spends much time far from land

More from Merriam-Webster on gannet

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gannet

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