her·​on ˈher-ən How to pronounce heron (audio)
plural herons also 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 Meanwhile, flocks of herons and egrets arrive to exploit the commotion, luring other predators to follow their lunch to the banks. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, 1 Apr. 2024 Egrets and herons in Kansas also went to roost according to a 1994 study. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 18 Mar. 2024 Alligators, turtles, herons, and egrets are often seen along this trail. Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, 4 Feb. 2024 Between the two areas are hundreds of acres of wildlife habitat, including for birds like egrets, herons and ducks. Maura Fox, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Jan. 2024 The film, from Japanese anime icon Hayao Miyazaki, follows 12-year-old Mahito Maki, who, while grieving his mother's death, is set on a life-changing path after speaking to a heron. Jessica Simeone, NBC News, 8 Jan. 2024 Mahito’s mother, the heron claims, isn’t dead at all. Alissa Wilkinson, New York Times, 21 Nov. 2023 The large pink wader’s appearance also highlights the beginning of the annual post-breeding dispersal of southern herons, egrets, spoonbills, and storks north into the piedmont of the Carolinas. Taylor Piephoff, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 The Boy and the Heron is quintessential Miyazaki in many ways, involving a young child on a solitary quest who is aided by a spiritual guide (the blue heron). Ars Staff, Ars Technica, 25 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'heron.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near heron

Cite this Entry

“Heron.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heron. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


her·​on ˈher-ən How to pronounce heron (audio)
plural herons also heron
: any of various wading birds with a long neck, long legs, a long thin bill and large wings

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