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

But at feeding time, the place is full of birds outside the cages, too, with pelicans, herons and egrets hanging around hoping to snatch a snack. Bonnie Gross, sun-sentinel.com, "Where the wildlife are: South Florida sanctuaries that rehab animals worth a visit," 16 Sep. 2019 Startled, a heron flew up and was swallowed by the night. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "From Buenos Aires to the Chilean Coast: A Road Trip Across South America," 22 Aug. 2019 Eagles and herons adorn the walls, but the bird that serves as the focal point of this big production is much daintier: small enough to perch on a finger, yet still beautiful enough to start a sensation. Time, "Behind the Scenes of The Goldfinch, a Rare and Delicate Hollywood Specimen," 22 Aug. 2019 Egrets, turkeys, herons, limpkin and ducks are among some of the birds visitors might see during their park visit. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, "Ichetucknee Springs provides visitors a 3-hour natural lazy river tube run," 13 Aug. 2019 This peaceful place where the Río San José meets the ocean draws some 200 species of resident and migratory birds including wood storks, pelicans, egrets, herons, ibises, and hawks. Jenny Peters, National Geographic, "Baja California Sur: The ultimate road trip," 25 July 2019 Liberty Wildlife's medical team found the fledgling heron had an eye injury, wing lacerations, and lost skin on his scalp. Serena O'sullivan, azcentral, "City clears dead ducks from Phoenix park after residents complain," 10 July 2019 West Indian manatees, Florida scrub jays, gopher tortoises, black bears, herons and fish, such as gar and sunfish, can all be found in Blue Spring State Park. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, "Florida Springs Guide: Blue Spring State Park," 25 June 2019 Piping plovers, least terns, American oystercatchers, herons and egrets are particularly vulnerable. USA TODAY, "Kacey Musgraves, sneaker flap, skiing in July: News from around our 50 states," 3 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about heron

Dictionary Entries near heron








Statistics for heron

Last Updated

13 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for heron

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 bell tower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!