\ ˈkē-ə How to pronounce kea (audio) \

Definition of kea

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a large mostly dull green New Zealand parrot (Nestor notabilis) that is normally insectivorous but sometimes destroys sheep by slashing the back to feed on the kidney fat


geographical name
\ ˈkā-ä How to pronounce Kea (audio) \
variants: or ancient Ceos \ ˈsē-​ˌäs How to pronounce Kea (audio) \

Definition of Kea (Entry 2 of 2)

island of Greece in the northwestern Cyclades Islands island area 67 square miles (174 square kilometers)

Note: Kea's chief town is also named Kea.

Examples of kea in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The researchers also showed the keas two jars that each contained an equal number of black and orange tokens. Virginia Morell, Science | AAAS, "New Zealand birds show humanlike ability to make predictions," 3 Mar. 2020 Some other ways the zookeepers have been keeping the animals entertained include long walks for the llamas, spraying perfume to peak the interest of the lions and giving puzzle feeders to the keas (a bird species native to New Zealand). Georgia Slater,, "New Zealand Zoo Animals 'Missing People' Continue to Show Up For Meetings with the Public," 2 Apr. 2020 So do New Zealand parrots known as keas, scientists report today. Virginia Morell, Science | AAAS, "New Zealand birds show humanlike ability to make predictions," 3 Mar. 2020 The kea and rockhopper teams have been taking their campaigns to the skies this week. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "No evidence of Russian interference in New Zealand’s ‘Bird of the Year’ contest," 12 Nov. 2019 Today, New Zealand’s kea parrots are known to attack sheep, digging through skin and muscle to reach the fat around the kidneys. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "This Chonky Ancient Bird Is the World’s Largest Known Parrot," 7 Aug. 2019 Sharp-beaked keas are strong enough to attack sheep and yank rubber parts off cars. Cara Giaimo, New York Times, "These Giant Parrots Once Roamed New Zealand," 6 Aug. 2019 In New Zealand, humans have slaughtered keas to the point of endangerment. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "How Humans Created the Ultimate Superpests," 9 July 2018 Along with two other New Zealand parrots, the kea and kaka, the kakapo belongs to the oldest living lineage of parrots. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "The First Species to Have Every Individual’s Genome Sequenced," 13 Sep. 2017

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


1862, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kea



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Cite this Entry

“Kea.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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