passenger pigeon

noun

Definition of passenger pigeon

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

Illustration of passenger pigeon

Illustration of passenger pigeon

Examples of passenger pigeon in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Successive mass slaughters, however, including one at Petoskey, Mich., in 1878, where approximately 50,000 birds were killed each day for nearly five months, reduced the passenger pigeon population from billions to none in a matter of a few decades. Adrian Woolfson, WSJ, 3 Nov. 2021 Like our extinct passenger pigeon, the weight of flocks of queleas landing in a tree can break branches. Jim Williams, Star Tribune, 6 July 2021 Revive & Restore wants to bring back the passenger pigeon to rescue the woodlands of eastern North America, while Eat Just promotes its nuggets as a way to reduce the cruelty, and climate impact, of industrial livestock production. Nathaniel Rich, WSJ, 30 Apr. 2021 But there are also stories of bravery, passion, and inventiveness, like the quests to bring the passenger pigeon back from extinction, and to create eggless egg and meatless meat. The New Yorker, 19 Apr. 2021 The visitor can inspect the now extinct passenger pigeon and the Carolina parakeet. Marissa Fessenden, Scientific American, 17 May 2013 For the past decade or so, Brand has helped fight—the environmentalists, the bioethicists—to resurrect long-dead species like the passenger pigeon and the woolly mammoth. Jason Kehe, Wired, 17 Mar. 2021 Cloning eventually could bring back extinct species such as the passenger pigeon. Mead Gruver, USA TODAY, 19 Feb. 2021 Cloning eventually could bring back extinct species such as the passenger pigeon. NBC News, 19 Feb. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of passenger pigeon

1772, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About passenger pigeon

Time Traveler for passenger pigeon

Time Traveler

The first known use of passenger pigeon was in 1772

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near passenger pigeon

passenger mileage

passenger pigeon

passenger rail

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for passenger pigeon

Cite this Entry

“Passenger pigeon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/passenger%20pigeon. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about passenger pigeon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!