her·​on | \ ˈher-ən How to pronounce heron (audio) , 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

Some airports with particularly stubborn birds are forced to get creative: Salt Lake City’s airport deploys pigs to eat up gull eggs, and border collies chase away herons and egrets at Southwest Florida International in Fort Myers. Cynthia Drescher, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Airports Keep Birds Away," 5 Nov. 2018 The ever-impeccable 81-year-old Vanessa Redgrave also chose a collarless suit with discreet heron detail, and another standout tuxedo take was worn by Stella McCartney—a jumpsuit of her own design. Vogue, "Claire Foy, Idris Elba, Anna Wintour, Sophie Okonedo, Ralph Fiennes, and the Cast of Hamilton Fete the 64th Evening Standard Theatre Awards," 19 Nov. 2018 At Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, sightings included an American avocet, 10 piping plovers, an Iceland gull, a tricolored heron, a least bittern, and two orchard orioles. BostonGlobe.com, "Bird sightings," 17 June 2018 Late Tuesday night, the heron was clad in a Seattle Mariners jersey with Paxton's name and number 65 on the back, honoring the lefty's no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays . Ian Harrison, courant.com, "Paxton, Hometown Share No-Hitter," 9 May 2018 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

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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Statistics for heron

Last Updated

3 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for heron

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

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More Definitions for heron



English Language Learners Definition of heron

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


her·​on | \ ˈher-ən How to pronounce heron (audio) \

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

Comments on heron

What made you want to look up heron? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a shady place in a garden or forest

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