her·​on | \ˈher-ən, ˈhe-rən\
plural herons also heron

Definition of heron 

: any of various long-necked and long-legged wading birds (family Ardeidae) with a long tapering bill, large wings, and soft plumage

Examples of heron in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The past can be a heron hunting the frog of the now. Sam Anderson, New York Times, "New Sentences: From Christine Schutt’s ‘Pure Hollywood’," 30 May 2018 In the zoo’s lion enclosure, a female big cat creeps out of the shadows and stalks up to a heron drinking by the water. Elaina Zachos, National Geographic, "Why This Zoo Lion Killed a Lost Water Bird," 28 June 2018 Here are some of my other favorites: A tow path cycler Slows to glimpse a heron and Count turtles on logs — Karen Buglass, Rockville, Md. John Kelly, Washington Post, "Here are the winning entries in the 2018 springtime in Washington haiku contest," 3 Apr. 2018 This species is the most likely small white heron to show up. Taylor Piephoff, charlotteobserver, "You’ll have no regrets in search for egrets – and herons, too," 11 July 2018 There were the usual citizens of kingfishers, turtles, limpkins, herons, big fish and others. Kevin Spear, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Wekiva and Rock Springs Run cure stress with gorgeous gators and hypnotic rain," 1 June 2018 The heron is dead in an instant, and two other lions rush into the frame. Elaina Zachos, National Geographic, "Why This Zoo Lion Killed a Lost Water Bird," 28 June 2018 Hundreds of egrets, herons, geese, pelicans, ducks and other winged visitors stop off at the lake during migrations. Bill Van Niekerken, SFChronicle.com, "Oakland’s sanctuary: A century of Lake Merritt photos pulled from archive," 20 June 2018 The privately run Lake Katherine in Palos Heights also is a good place to spot turtles, beavers, and herons. Paige Fumo Fox, Daily Southtown, "Ahoy, paddlers: Local lakes and rivers beckon," 13 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for heron

Middle English heiroun, hayroun, from Anglo-French heiron, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German heigaro heron

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The first known use of heron was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of heron

: a large bird that has long legs and a long neck and bill


her·​on | \ˈher-ən \

Kids Definition of heron

: a wading bird that has long legs, a long neck, a long thin bill, and large wings

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More from Merriam-Webster on heron

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with heron

Spanish Central: Translation of heron

Nglish: Translation of heron for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about heron

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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