nightjar

noun night·jar \ ˈnīt-ˌjär \

Definition of nightjar

: any of a family (Caprimulgidae) of medium-sized long-winged crepuscular or nocturnal birds (such as the whip-poor-wills and nighthawks) having a short bill, short legs, and soft mottled plumage and feeding on insects which they catch on the wing called also goatsucker

Recent Examples of nightjar from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nightjar.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of nightjar

1night + jar "discordant sound," derivative of 3jar (alluding to the churring trill of the European nightjar, Caprimulgus europaeus)


Learn More about nightjar


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up nightjar? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a lighting electrician on a movie set

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens-painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!