ki·​wi | \ ˈkē-(ˌ)wē How to pronounce kiwi (audio) \

Definition of kiwi

1 : any of a small genus (Apteryx) of flightless New Zealand birds with rudimentary wings, stout legs, a long bill, and grayish brown hairlike plumage
2 capitalized : a native or resident of New Zealand used as a nickname
3 : kiwifruit

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Illustration of kiwi

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A kiwi is any of three species of chicken-sized, grayish brown flightless birds found in New Zealand. Their Maori name refers to the male's shrill call. Kiwis have vestigial wings hidden within the plumage; nostrils at the tip (rather than the base) of the long flexible bill; soft, hairlike feathers; and stout, muscular legs. Each of the four toes has a large claw. Kiwis live in forests, where they sleep by day and forage for worms, insects and their larvae, and berries at night. They run swiftly and use their claws in defense when cornered.

Examples of kiwi in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Strawberry Kiwi one-piece is partly red with a strawberry print and partly green with a kiwi print. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 13 July 2021 At Juneteenth barbecues across the United States, modern-day celebrants might sip Big Red soda or strawberry-kiwi Kool-Aid. Bill Addison, Los Angeles Times, 10 June 2021 Made with three grams of sugar, 21 grams of fiber, and 115 calories per serving, the non-GMO verified Yumy Bear currently offers peach and strawberry kiwi flavors, and each bag is approximately $1 to $1.5 cheaper than its market peers. Douglas Yu, Forbes, 21 June 2021 Other types of marinades might include pineapple, papaya, or kiwi juice, which contain enzymes that further tenderize meat, but that’s not necessary for this type of cut. Matthew Zuras, Popular Mechanics, 14 June 2021 Don’t skimp on this advice since kiwi vines are susceptible to root rot. oregonlive, 14 June 2021 Zespri could already reduce the loading time of kiwi pallets onto the ship at ports from 20 minutes to 30 seconds to get the fresh produce faster to destinations worldwide. Peter Pluim, Forbes, 7 June 2021 Using a knife dipped in hot water, slice crosswise and serve with fresh berries or kiwi or lemon curd. Kim Sunée, Anchorage Daily News, 27 May 2021 These fun kiwi facts (adult kiwis are about the size of chickens, by the way) and the birth of the chick at Franklin Park have inspired a collaboration with the nearby Samuel Adams brewery., 25 May 2021

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

1835, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for kiwi


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Last Updated

22 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Kiwi.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for kiwi



English Language Learners Definition of kiwi

informal : a person who lives in or is from New Zealand
: a bird from New Zealand that cannot fly and that has a long bill


ki·​wi | \ ˈkē-wē How to pronounce kiwi (audio) \

Kids Definition of kiwi

1 : a grayish brown bird of New Zealand that is unable to fly
2 : kiwifruit

More from Merriam-Webster on kiwi

Nglish: Translation of kiwi for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of kiwi for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about kiwi


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