kit·​ti·​wake ˈki-tē-ˌwāk How to pronounce kittiwake (audio)
: either of two cliff-nesting gulls (Rissa tridactyla and R. brevirostris) that winter on the open ocean

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web On a Zodiac ride off Alkefjellet, the air is alive with birds, including tens of thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots as well as glaucous gulls and kittiwakes, which nest in that island’s cliffs, while a young male polar bear munches on a ring seal, chin glistening red. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 23 Apr. 2023 Sightings at Race Point in Provincetown included 3 Pacific loons, 15 common murres, 450 razorbills, 35 black-legged kittiwakes, 60 Iceland gulls, a glaucous gull, and 2 common redpolls., 22 Mar. 2023 Birds speaking in dialects of kittiwake and tern. The Guardian, Scientific American, 11 Nov. 2021 In 2018, National Geographic reported on mass die-offs of several species in Iceland including Atlantic puffins, black-legged kittiwake and black murres. Jennifer Walter, Discover Magazine, 29 May 2019 At Cape Ann a red-necked grebe was seen in Gloucester, a harlequin duck at the Dry Salvages off Rockport, and eight red-necked phalaropes and an out of season black-legged kittiwake were seen at Andrews Point in Rockport., 6 Aug. 2022 Also at First Encounter in Eastham, six Leach’s storm-petrels were tallied, as well as a black-legged kittiwake., 4 Sep. 2021 Meanwhile further south, Will says a major kittiwake die-off is occurring in the Gulf of Alaska, but is unrelated to what’s happening in the Bering Strait region this summer. Davis Hovey, Anchorage Daily News, 31 Aug. 2021 The spill has killed three kittiwake birds, oiled another and killed a gull, the state reported. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Apr. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'kittiwake.' 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

1661, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of kittiwake was in 1661

Dictionary Entries Near kittiwake

Cite this Entry

“Kittiwake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


kit·​ti·​wake ˈkit-ē-ˌwāk How to pronounce kittiwake (audio)
: either of two gulls that nest on cliffs and winter on the open ocean

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