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

Examples of nightjar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

On other hand, the lesser nighthawk is the most frequently seen nightjar, active at sunrise and sunset and during the night. Ernie Cowan, sandiegouniontribune.com, "It takes patience to spot, photograph nighthawk after dark," 16 June 2017 Owls, of course, commonly feed at night, but there is another class of nocturnal birds known as nightjars that include the lesser and common nighthawks and poorwill. Ernie Cowan, sandiegouniontribune.com, "It takes patience to spot, photograph nighthawk after dark," 16 June 2017

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.

First Known Use of nightjar

1630, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nightjar

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

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The first known use of nightjar was in 1630

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nightjar

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about nightjar

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