pen·​guin | \ ˈpen-gwən How to pronounce penguin (audio) , ˈpeŋ- \

Definition of penguin

: any of various erect short-legged flightless aquatic birds (family Spheniscidae) of the southern hemisphere

Examples of penguin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Equally, wildlife encounters—from swimming with dolphins, kayaking with seals, or visiting conservation programs to learn about flightless species like the penguin, the kiwi and the kakapo— make a very meaningful visit to our shores. Liz Cantrell, Travel + Leisure, "7 Life-changing Trips for Teenagers, According to T+L's A-List Advisors," 5 May 2021 The about one-hour program provides one-on-one interaction with a penguin. Kathleen Christiansen,, "6 places to celebrate World Penguin Day in Florida," 22 Apr. 2021 For example, a penguin in Brazil swallowed a mask while hedgehogs and foxes in the United Kingdom got tangled in masks as well, reports Damian Carrington for the Guardian. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, "Discarded Covid-19 Masks and Plastic Gloves Are Killing Wildlife," 14 Apr. 2021 In Kansas City, each room is outfitted with original photographs from the arctic travels of 21c founder and owner, Laura Lee Brown, drawing particular attention to another of the brand’s most iconic collections, penguin colonies. Brandon Schultz, Forbes, "Do You Know Where The Oldest Hotel In The West Is?," 18 Mar. 2021 To take this image, the photographer lay flat on the ground because objects lower than penguin height are less intimidating to the birds. Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, "Amazing Birds In Photos: 21 Finalists For Bird Photographer Of The Year," 4 Apr. 2021 Knutson encouraged people to take steps in their daily lives to help the African penguin population. Dallas News, "New chicks in town: Dallas Zoo hatches 2 African penguins in big win for species," 25 Mar. 2021 In 2017, Hasbro held a similar fan vote to revamp some of the game's playing pieces, with the thimble, the wheelbarrow and the boot getting being replaced with new pieces like a rubber duckie, a penguin and a T. rex. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Monopoly updating 16 cards to better reflect community," 22 Mar. 2021 The yellow penguin is entirely void of all melanin and instead sports a sunny coat. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, "Rare Yellow Penguin Photographed for the First Time," 23 Feb. 2021

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

1577, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for penguin

obsolete English penguin great auk, perhaps from Welsh pen gwyn white head (applied to the bird in winter plumage)

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Time Traveler for penguin

Time Traveler

The first known use of penguin was in 1577

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Statistics for penguin

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Penguin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for penguin



English Language Learners Definition of penguin

: a black-and-white bird that cannot fly, that uses its wings for swimming, and that lives in or near the Antarctic


pen·​guin | \ ˈpen-gwən How to pronounce penguin (audio) , ˈpeŋ- \

Kids Definition of penguin

: a short-legged seabird that cannot fly, uses its stiff wings for swimming, and is found in the colder regions of the southern hemisphere

More from Merriam-Webster on penguin

Nglish: Translation of penguin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of penguin for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about penguin

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