petrel

noun
pe·​trel | \ ˈpe-trəl How to pronounce petrel (audio) , ˈpē- How to pronounce petrel (audio) \

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

Examples of petrel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Getting rid of the mice, which are the last remaining nonnative mammals on the islands, would reduce owl predation enough for the petrel population to stabilize and maybe even grow, the study said. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Exterminating mice with poison would protect rare seabirds on Farallones, study says," 7 Oct. 2019 But when the mouse population crashes in the winter, the owls prey on the ashy storm-petrel, whose population on the islands — where half the world’s storm petrels nest — has been declining since the ’90s. Laura Newberry, latimes.com, "The U.S. wants to dump 1.5 tons of rat poison on the Farallon Islands. Biologists say it’s for the best," 7 July 2019 Registered guests are trained to rescue juvenile puffins and petrels at night—when they can be confused by artificial light—then release them in the right direction in the morning. Michael S. Nolan, National Geographic, "Stay and Play," 12 June 2019 At Andrew’s Point in Gloucester, there were two Northern pintails, a very early harlequin duck, a dovekie, 18 Leach’s storm-petrels, and a white-eyed vireo. BostonGlobe.com, "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 14 Oct. 2019 Researchers say at least 225 of the rare petrels are killed each year by burrowing owls, about 40% of the total number of deaths. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Exterminating mice with poison would protect rare seabirds on Farallones, study says," 7 Oct. 2019 Observers from Manomet Point saw two Northern fulmars and a Leach’s storm-petrel. BostonGlobe.com, "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 14 Oct. 2019 The increase in owls coincided with a major uptick in the number of petrel carcasses. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Exterminating mice with poison would protect rare seabirds on Farallones, study says," 7 Oct. 2019 Single Leach’s storm-petrels were reported from Cape Cod Bay as well as East of Chatham. BostonGlobe.com, "Bird sightings on Cape Cod," 23 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of petrel

1602, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for petrel

earlier also pitteril, pitteral, of obscure origin

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Time Traveler for petrel

Time Traveler

The first known use of petrel was in 1602

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Statistics for petrel

Last Updated

11 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Petrel.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/petrel. Accessed 29 January 2020.

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More Definitions for petrel

petrel

noun
How to pronounce petrel (audio) How to pronounce petrel (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of petrel

: a bird that has long wings and usually dark feathers and that lives mainly on the ocean

petrel

noun
pe·​trel | \ ˈpe-trəl How to pronounce petrel (audio) , ˈpē- \

Kids Definition of petrel

: a small seabird with long wings that flies far from land

More from Merriam-Webster on petrel

Britannica English: Translation of petrel for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about petrel

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