great auk

noun

Definition of great auk

: an extinct large flightless auk (Pinguinus impennis) formerly abundant along North Atlantic coasts

Examples of great auk in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Despite its appearance, the great auk is actually a relative of razorbills and puffins, not of penguins. The Conversation/jessica Emma Thomas, Ars Technica, "DNA points to humans as killers of the northern version of the penguin," 27 Dec. 2019 The great auk had long provided humans with a source of meat and eggs. The Conversation/jessica Emma Thomas, Ars Technica, "DNA points to humans as killers of the northern version of the penguin," 27 Dec. 2019 In the past, researchers have speculated that environmental change topped off by human greed took down the great auk. New York Times, "Why the Great Auk Is Gone for Good," 4 Dec. 2019 The great auk, a large, flightless bird with a black back and a white belly, once lived across the North Atlantic—from Scandinavia to the eastern coast of Canada. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Humans May Be Solely to Blame for the Great Auk’s Extinction," 28 Nov. 2019 Like the dodo and the great auk, the tiger found a curious immortality as a global icon of extinction, more renowned for the tragedy of its death than for its life, about which little is known. Brooke Jarvis, The New Yorker, "The Obsessive Search for the Tasmanian Tiger," 16 Jan. 2012

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'great auk.' 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 great auk

1768, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for great auk

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The first known use of great auk was in 1768

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Statistics for great auk

Last Updated

28 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Great auk.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/great%20auk. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on great auk

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about great auk

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