passenger pigeon

noun

Definition of passenger pigeon 

: an extinct but formerly abundant North American migratory pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius)

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Illustration of passenger pigeon

Examples of passenger pigeon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

De-extinction projects are already underway for the passenger pigeon and the woolly mammoth. Ben Crair, Smithsonian, "Why Did the Carolina Parakeet Go Extinct?," 19 Apr. 2018 Ruthven is the artist behind a painting of the last passenger pigeons, which is now a mural in downtown Cincinnati. Carrie Blackmore Smith, Cincinnati.com, "Put your shades on, Cincinnati: Here's how to enjoy the sunshine this weekend," 27 Apr. 2018 When the word gained popularity in the United States, it was meant to differentiate hunters who did not earn an income from their hunting activity from market hunters, who decimated the waterfowl, buffalo and passenger pigeon populations for profit. Author: Christine Cunningham, Anchorage Daily News, "What is a sport hunter? Words don’t always fit a person’s motivation," 26 Apr. 2018 The law was enacted after several species of common birds, such as the passenger pigeon, became extinct. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Trump's new rules make it easier for energy companies to escape penalties for killing birds," 16 Apr. 2018 The law was too late to save some species, though, including the passenger pigeon. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Great Wisconsin Birdathon takes flight during Year of the Bird," 5 Apr. 2018 The effort resembles in some ways the popular de-extinction projects that are attempting to resurrect the woolly mammoth or the passenger pigeon; all want to reverse extinction and in some cases, fix the damage humans have done. Alessandra Potenza, The Verge, "Inside the high-tech plot to save the northern white rhino from extinction," 6 Apr. 2018 Exactly 100 years ago, the last captive Carolina parakeet died, alone in a cage in the Cincinnati Zoo, the same zoo where the last captive passenger pigeon, named Martha, died four years earlier. Kevin R. Burgio, Washington Post, "The mysterious and tragic story of the Carolina parakeet, America’s only native parrot," 31 Mar. 2018 By the end of the 19th century, the American frontier was closed, the herds of buffalo and the great flocks of passenger pigeons were gone, and some feared the magnificent trees would disappear, too. Zach St. George, Smithsonian, "How California’s Giant Sequoias Tell the Story of Americans’ Conflicted Relationship With Nature," 20 Mar. 2018

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

1772, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of passenger pigeon was in 1772

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More Definitions for passenger pigeon

passenger pigeon

noun

Kids Definition of passenger pigeon

: a North American wild pigeon once common but now extinct

More from Merriam-Webster on passenger pigeon

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about passenger pigeon

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