Definition of petrel
: any of numerous seabirds (especially families Procellariidae and Hydrobatidae); especially : one of the smaller long-winged birds that fly far from land — compare storm petrel
Recent Examples of petrel from the Web
Pigeons, petrels, honeybees and possibly bears and mice use odor maps of their neighborhoods to return to den sites or nests.
After the petrel (or drone) dies, information about its feeding habits is preserved for hundreds or thousands of years inside its bones.
The team also found, not surprisingly, that the birds most attracted to the DMS odor are the albatrosses, petrels, and shearwaters that are most severely affected by plastic consumption.
More specifically, Wilson is tweeting from Bird Island, which is all of three miles long and populated by extremely photogenic giant petrels, macaroni penguins, and elephant seals.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'petrel'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of petrel
alteration of earlier pitteral
First Known Use: 1602See Words from the same year
PETREL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of petrel for English Language Learners
: a bird that has long wings and usually dark feathers and that lives mainly on the ocean
PETREL Defined for Kids
Definition of petrel for Students
: a small seabird with long wings that flies far from land
Seen and Heard
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