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

The MirageDrive works like a penguin's rear flippers do, to propel the kayak through the water. Timothy Dahl, Popular Mechanics, "You Should Try Kayak Fishing," 16 Nov. 2018 Jellyfish may make up more than 40 percent of a penguin’s diet. Carl Zimmer, The Seattle Times, "In the sea, a big appetite for jellyfish," 26 Oct. 2018 Or perhaps, parasites and diseases are killing off the penguins. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "World's Largest King Penguin Colony Is Shrinking Mysteriously," 4 Aug. 2018 As the penguin stares into the camera, another pops into frame. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Two Antarctic Penguins Took an Adorable ‘Selfie’," 9 Mar. 2018 The penguins dip their feet into the washable tempera paint and run amock over the canvases, adding their personal, creative touches. Kelsey Grey, idahostatesman, "Zoo Boise's penguins feature their artistic talents," 19 June 2018 There is a clitoral suction cup that looks like a penguin. Allure, "The 37 Best Vibrators You Can Buy Right Now," 10 July 2018 Several of the snow globe ornaments share space on the troop's tree with examples of their other two designs, a picture of an arctic fox with each girl's wish for 2018 and a Styrofoam ball painted to look like a penguin. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Take your family on a holiday stroll through the fantastic forest at the Milwaukee County Zoo," 30 Nov. 2017 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

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

13 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for penguin

The first known use of penguin was in 1577

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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

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