ne·​ne ˈnā-(ˌ)nā How to pronounce nene (audio)
: an endangered goose (Branta sandvicensis synonym Nesochen sandvicensis) of the Hawaiian Islands that usually inhabits waterless uplands and feeds on berries and vegetation

Illustration of nene

Illustration of nene

Examples of nene in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The nene is Hawaii’s official state bird. Dan Fellner, The Arizona Republic, 2 Feb. 2022 On Maui, sit above the clouds and watch the sunrise at 10,000 feet atop Haleakalā, a sacred site and dormant volcano that covers more than 75 percent of the island and is home to 100-plus endangered species, including Hawaii’s state bird, the nene. Sunny Fitzgerald, Travel + Leisure, 18 Feb. 2023 Early risers at Timers can embark on a wildlife tour with naturalist guide Alan Silva for an opportunity to spot a variety of species (including the endangered nene) that have increased in population thanks to conservation efforts. Sunny Fitzgerald, Travel + Leisure, 18 Feb. 2023 For example, one pair was made up of the Hawaiian nene and the Canada goose. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 15 Mar. 2016 With protection under the Endangered Species Act, along with captive breeding and rigorous habitat restoration, the number of nene rose to more than 3,000 in 2019. Nusmila Lohani, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 Apr. 2020 The namesake nene potstickers are connected by a lacy batter on top and filled with shiitake or pork. Sarah Fritsche,, 17 June 2018 Look for Island Sole, 728 Front St., whose sign shows a nene wearing flip-flops. Brian J. Cantwell,, 24 Apr. 2018 See More

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

Word History


Hawaiian nēnē

First Known Use

1902, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of nene was in 1902

Dictionary Entries Near nene

Cite this Entry

“Nene.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

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