plum·​age | \ ˈplü-mij How to pronounce plumage (audio) \

Definition of plumage

: the feathers of a bird

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Other Words from plumage

plumaged \ ˈplü-​mijd How to pronounce plumage (audio) \ adjective

Examples of plumage in a Sentence

The peacock has colorful plumage.
Recent Examples on the Web Great blues also get their name from their predominant blue-gray plumage. René A. Guzman,, "The great blue heron towers above other water birds," 29 Dec. 2020 Images of two upside-down mallards and a rooster, whose plumage was painted with the typical vivid color known as Pompeiian red, also brightened the eatery and likely served to advertise the menu. Frances D'emilio,, "Mallards, goats, snails, wine: Archaeologists dig up a fast-food spot in Pompeii," 26 Dec. 2020 All three Brazilian paleontologists contacted by National Geographic expressed hope that Ubirajara would be returned so scientists in its home country could study its remarkable plumage up-close. Michael Greshko, Science, "One-of-a-kind dinosaur removed from Brazil sparks backlash, investigation," 22 Dec. 2020 Down is a type of filling that comes from featherlike plumage from birds and is what often gives winter outwear a distinct puff. Lauren Levy, NBC News, "9 best women's winter coats 2020: Best winter jackets for women," 16 Dec. 2020 The authors of the study think that the elaborate plumage would have been used for display and implied the dinosaur had sophisticated mating behavior. Katie Hunt, CNN, "Dinosaur sported impressive mane and had ribbons protruding from its shoulders," 15 Dec. 2020 Adult Gentoo penguins have yellow feet, white patches above their eye area, and white speckling in the black plumage around their heads. Marcy De Luna, Chron, "Galveston's Moody Gardens welcomes two Gentoo penguin chicks," 10 Dec. 2020 The birds readily nest in boxes in the wild and have striking plumage that seems ideal for testing ideas about the evolutionary point of the ornamentation. Cathleen O’grady, Science | AAAS, "Psychology’s replication crisis inspires ecologists to push for more reliable research," 9 Dec. 2020 Many bird species, from tiny quail to towering ostriches, keep their plumage in top condition by regularly dust bathing. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, "View Amazing Photos and Video of a Turkey Dust Bathing," 25 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plumage.' 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 plumage

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for plumage

Middle English, from Middle French, from Old French, from plume feather — more at plume

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Time Traveler for plumage

Time Traveler

The first known use of plumage was in the 14th century

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Statistics for plumage

Last Updated

26 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Plumage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for plumage



English Language Learners Definition of plumage

: the feathers that cover the body of a bird


plum·​age | \ ˈplü-mij How to pronounce plumage (audio) \

Kids Definition of plumage

: the feathers of a bird

More from Merriam-Webster on plumage

Nglish: Translation of plumage for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about plumage

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