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

Illustration of kiwi

Illustration of kiwi

kiwi 1

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Did You Know?

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

Daybreak’s John Brinsley talks about the kiwi, as well as the latest on Brexit with host Ramy Inocencio. Erin Roman,, "Everything You Need to Know This Morning From Daybreak (Podcast)," 21 June 2017 Meghan then quickly changed into a purple Givenchy sweater and pleated skirt before the royals headed to a kiwi chick hatchery and to greet the public on a walkabout. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Finishes Out the Royal Tour of New Zealand Wearing Prince Harry's Jacket," 31 Oct. 2018 Divide 1 large bunch watercress, 1 Granny Smith apple (thinly sliced), 1 large kiwi (peeled and sliced), and 1 avocado (sliced) among plates. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Watercress Salad with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette," 9 Jan. 2019 The dollar climbed, with the yen, pound and kiwi weakening the most of G-10 peers. Erin Roman,, "Everything You Need to Know This Morning From Daybreak (Podcast)," 15 Aug. 2017 Skip apples, dried fruit and mangoes and opt instead for fruits lower in fructose or sorbitol, like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, banana, cantaloupe, pineapple and oranges. SELF, "Why This Registered Dietitian Tells (Some of) Her Patients to Avoid Kale Salads," 30 Nov. 2018 New Zealand’s dollar, known as the kiwi, has lost 5.7% this year. Ira Iosebashvili, WSJ, "U.S. Dollar’s Rise Puts Canada, Australia, New Zealand in Spotlight," 26 Aug. 2018 Sprays of periwinkle hydrangeas burst in feckless disarray from clutches of kiwi-green leaves, a leafy halo for the diaphanous peach rose. Tamar Adler, Vogue, "What Statement Should Your Wedding Cake Make?," 17 May 2018 Local brand Health-Ade recently launched its newest flavor — a jalapeño, kiwi and cucumber concoction that has slightly spicy notes. Kavita Daswani,, "Fourth of July BBQ draaaanks that won't blow your diet," 29 June 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near kiwi

Kivu, Lake







Statistics for kiwi

Last Updated

10 Mar 2019

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The first known use of kiwi was in 1835

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on kiwi

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kiwi

Spanish Central: Translation of kiwi

Nglish: Translation of kiwi for Spanish Speakers

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

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a shady place in a garden or forest

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