king·​fish·​er ˈkiŋ-ˌfi-shər How to pronounce kingfisher (audio)
: any of numerous nonpasserine birds (family Alcedinidae) that are usually crested and bright-colored with a short tail and a long stout sharp bill

Examples of kingfisher in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Not all kingfishers feast on fish—some eat bugs, lizards and even other birds. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Nov. 2023 Scientists have been studying this phenomenon for a very long time, including recent work on diving birds like gannets and kingfishers. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 6 Nov. 2023 Back in 2005, the engineers who designed Japan's famous bullet trains adapted their design based on kingfisher beaks. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 24 Oct. 2023 Olympic National Park - Washington Birds of Olympic National Park:Bald eagle, Western gull, Red-breasted sapsucker, Woodpecker, Belted kingfisher, Steller’s and Gray jay, Blue grouse, Peregrine falcon and Northern pygmy owl. Camille Fine, USA TODAY, 29 July 2023 Birds of Big Bend National Park: Vermillion flycatcher, Colima warbler, Mexican jay, Lucifer hummingbird and Green kingfisher. Camille Fine, USA TODAY, 29 July 2023 This spring, students started creating the kingfisher costume. Olivia Alexander, Chicago Tribune, 14 Apr. 2023 Ask Amy Still no official decision on U. of I. mascot, but the belted kingfisher is waiting in the wings In 2007, the university retired Chief Illiniwek, a fictional American Indian figure. Chicago Tribune Staff, Chicago Tribune, 14 Apr. 2023 Nakatsu had at one point observed the natural and graceful entry of a kingfisher diving into water without a splash at high speeds. Ajay Jotwani, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'kingfisher.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1611, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kingfisher was in 1611

Dictionary Entries Near kingfisher

Cite this Entry

“Kingfisher.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


king·​fish·​er -ˌfish-ər How to pronounce kingfisher (audio)
: any of various bright-colored birds with a short tail, a long stout sharp bill, and usually a crest on the head

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