pen·guin | \ˈpen-gwən, 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

Gramzay found an egg from another pair of penguins that was having difficulty hatching it and slipped it into Roy and Silo's nest. Emily V. Driscoll, Scientific American, "Bisexuality Can Benefit Animals," 23 May 2017 Every year at the Matsue Vogel Park, an aviary park in Japan, a colony of penguins bring holiday cheer to guests by waddling around dressed in the cutest Santa outfits. Brittany Fuller, Country Living, "Watch These Adorable Penguins Waddle Around In Santa Costumes and Smile Forever," 14 Dec. 2016 The zoo transfers the unreliable beasts to Kenya, but penguins (led in fine drill-instructor fashion by Allison Snow-Rhinehardt) commandeer the ship and dump them in Madagascar. Lawrence Toppman, charlotteobserver, "‘Madagascar’ at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte: Action-packed, and smart | Charlotte Observer," 11 Apr. 2018 This type of cruise caters to adventure-seeking travelers whose bucket-list trips include seeing, say, penguins in Antarctica and turtles in Ecuador's Galápagos Islands, cruises that usually last at least 10 days and often are as long as 21. Rosemary Mcclure,, "Escape for a weekend to a Mexican expedition cruise brimming with sea vistas and animal antics," 15 Mar. 2018 Once participants completed their part of the painting, one of Zoo Boise’s Magellanic penguins, Marie, arrived on the scene to add her finishing touches. Kelsey Grey, idahostatesman, "Zoo Boise's penguins feature their artistic talents," 19 June 2018 Plans also call for visiting Macquarie Island, a tiny sub-Antarctic isle that is home to millions of penguins, including king, rockhopper, gentoo and royal. Phil Marty,, "Holiday paddlewheeler cruises, the best ice cream shops and more," 23 May 2018 Kings are the second largest penguins, after emperors. Matt Campbell, kansascity, "King penguin chick ‘Louie’ now on display at Kansas City Zoo | The Kansas City Star," 16 Jan. 2018 March amongst thousands of boisterous penguins, cruise in Zodiac boats past shimmering statues of blue ice, and sail alongside pods of graceful whales, all from the comfort of your own floating hotel, the expedition ship Hebridean Sky. Ashton Palmer, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to Antarctica," 5 Oct. 2016

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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Dictionary Entries near penguin





penguin duck



Statistics for penguin

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for penguin

The first known use of penguin was in 1577

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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, 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on penguin

Spanish Central: Translation of penguin

Nglish: Translation of penguin for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on penguin

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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