killdeer

play
noun kill·deer \ˈkil-ˌdir\

Definition of killdeer

plural

killdeers

or

killdeer

  1. :  an American plover (Charadrius vociferus) characterized by two black breast bands and a plaintive penetrating cry

Recent Examples of killdeer from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'killdeer'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

This attractive dark-eyed bird has a loud, rather sad cry that to some people sounds like “Kill deer! Kill deer!” Killdeers are not vicious birds. They have no special hatred of deer, and they do not eat venison. The killdeer is simply an animal that got its name from human interpretation of its call.

Illustration of killdeer

Origin and Etymology of killdeer

imitative


KILLDEER Defined for Kids

killdeer

play
noun kill·deer \ˈkil-ˌdir\

Definition of killdeer for Students

  1. :  a grayish brown North American bird that has a high-pitched mournful call

History for killdeer

Killdeers are not vicious birds. They have no particular hatred for deer, but to some people the cry of these birds must have sounded like “Kill deer! Kill deer! Kill deer!” That is why the bird got its unusual name.


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