puf·fin | \ ˈpə-fən \

Definition of puffin 

: any of several seabirds (genera Fratercula and Lunda) of the northern hemisphere having a short neck and a deep grooved parti-colored laterally compressed bill

Illustration of puffin

Illustration of puffin

Examples of puffin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Spastic seabirds, the puffins, murres and a variety of seagulls challenged the boat, sometimes strafing in disdain when no morsels were cast their way. Steve Meyer, Anchorage Daily News, "Even with one bad eye, Alaska’s Barren Islands are a sight to behold," 13 June 2018 By day, take a hike with a cultural guide, visit ancient Haida village sites, and find spots to view orcas, bears, puffins, and humpbacks. Kari Bodnarchuk, BostonGlobe.com, "Here, there, and everywhere," 23 May 2018 The puffins were laying eggs earlier in even-numbered years and later in odd years. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "Pink salmon — too much of a good thing?," 15 June 2018 Instead, visitors come here to unwind amid nature by watching puffins and seals, admiring wildflowers, and taking in the white-sand beaches at Shell Beach. Condé Nast Traveler, "Car-Free Destinations for Your Next Island Vacation," 1 June 2018 But the area is best known for the colorful-beaked puffins. Julia Blakely, Smithsonian, "The True History of Luke Skywalker’s Monastic Retreat," 11 Jan. 2018 The story of how one of Britain’s biggest seabird colonies, once full of puffins, guillemots and razorbills, went silent this year due to climate change is a devastating read, via the Guardian. Aubrey Nagle, Philly.com, "Foreign-born adoptees deported, Strawberry Mansion questions high school plans | Morning Newsletter," 4 June 2018 Keep watch for whales or, often just as thrilling, puffins speeding by. Jenna Schnuer, Anchorage Daily News, "Kodiak and Southeast Alaska: Where coastal pleasures abound," 3 May 2018 The team now wants to determine whether the phenomenon occurs in living puffins. Jamie Dunning, National Geographic, "Puffin Beaks Glow in Surprising Discovery," 27 Apr. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for puffin

Middle English pophyn

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Statistics for puffin

Last Updated

5 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for puffin

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

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English Language Learners Definition of puffin

: a black-and-white seabird that lives in the north Atlantic and has a large, colorful bill


puf·fin | \ ˈpə-fən \

Kids Definition of puffin

: a black-and-white seabird that has a short thick neck and a large bill marked with several colors

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Comments on puffin

What made you want to look up puffin? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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