\ 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 Ceos (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 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 The zoo announced its first successful hatching of a kea, a vulnerable New Zealand parrot, on Wednesday. Danika Worthington, The Denver Post, "Denver Zoo welcomes fluffy gray kea chick, bringing zoo population of New Zealand parrot species to 38," 29 Mar. 2017 The team then observed how the wild kea reacted to each sound. National Geographic, "These Parrots Can Make Other Parrots 'Laugh'—a First," 20 Mar. 2017 The baby lemur is the newest addition to the zoo, which also has celebrated the recent high-profile births of Umi the tapir, Dobby the giraffe, Miso-Chi the fishing cat and Scarlet the fluffy gray kea chick. The Denver Post, "Denver Zoo debuts Penny, a red ruffed lemur born in April," 18 May 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 28 Feb. 2020.

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