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 In a new study, researchers revisit an Ignobel-winning 2003 paper about the physics of penguin feces. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Penguins Can Shoot Their Poop 4 Feet, Which Rules," 14 July 2020 The lack of sea ice around parts of Antarctica because of global warming may be good news for one species of penguin, a new study suggests. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Global warming good news? Some Antarctic penguins enjoy diminishing sea ice," 25 June 2020 Shedd Aquarium tweeted a video of one penguin, a rockhopper named Wellington, taking a particular liking to the Amazonian fish exhibit. Laura Hanrahan, Woman's Day, "A Chicago Aquarium Closed To Visitors, So The Penguins Got to See The Sights," 16 Mar. 2020 However, the main attractions, like the sea otter and penguin exhibits, jellyfish gallery and kelp forest habitat, will be accessible. Gregory Thomas,, "Monterey Bay Aquarium to reopen in July — with new rules," 22 June 2020 Inspired by their adventures, SUE (or a human-sized costume version of her, at least) took the time to check on the shuttered museum and its own penguin exhibit. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, "Chicago's Shedd Aquarium Penguins Are Back — and This Time They Went to the Field Museum," 13 July 2020 Tragedy strikes when Scott and his companions perish on the return journey from the South Pole, but the book’s most thrilling passage follows Cherry-Garrard’s three-man, midwinter journey to collect an unhatched penguin egg. Jen Rose Smith, Washington Post, "These epic travel disasters will take the edge off your wanderlust," 10 July 2020 Wellington the penguin took a shine to the belugas. New York Times, "CoLM toibin," 8 July 2020 However, the new research noted that, according to previous studies, other Adélie penguin populations that reside in warmer, sea-bordering regions (about 30% of the species) do not fare as well when sea ice diminishes. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "Global warming good news? Some Antarctic penguins enjoy diminishing sea ice," 25 June 2020

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

10 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Penguin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce penguin (audio)

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

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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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