plum·​age ˈplü-mij How to pronounce plumage (audio)
: the feathers of a bird
plumaged adjective

Examples of plumage in a Sentence

The peacock has colorful plumage.
Recent Examples on the Web Down filling is made from the soft plumage under a duck or goose’s feathers and is known for its ability to provide warmth and fluffiness to a variety of goods with minimal weight. Cai Cramer, Peoplemag, 11 Feb. 2024 All indigo buntings eventually molt into brown plumage in the fall. Taylor Piephoff, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 First-year males may show a combination of immature and adult plumage. Taylor Piephoff, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 The great-looking character style of the first has been further refined, filling this imaginary world with appealing faces and intricate plumage, color bursting and completely in sync with the eye-popping frivolity going on, most of it seen from a bird’s eye view. Miami Staff, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 Cheri Hollis, a volunteer with the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, discovered Pepper — a 1.5-ounce bird still wearing its immature plumage — on Aug. 31, cavorting on the Florida beach with two other young piping plovers. Sheryl Devore, Chicago Tribune, 13 Sep. 2023 And for some species, male and female plumage is identical to the human eye. Carlyn Kranking, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 July 2023 By this time in the season, ducks are in full plumage. T. Edward Nickens, Field & Stream, 27 Dec. 2023 Unlike their parents, whose sleek black-and-white feathers seal their skin against the frigid ocean, chicks’ downy plumage isn’t waterproof. Corinne Purtill, Los Angeles Times, 24 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'plumage.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near plumage

Cite this Entry

“Plumage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


plum·​age ˈplü-mij How to pronounce plumage (audio)
: the feathers of a bird

More from Merriam-Webster on plumage

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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