puf·​fin | \ ˈpə-fən How to pronounce puffin (audio) \

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 There are still penguins, yes, but also a guru puffin, an ideologically intractable walrus, and a pair of krill (voiced by Matt Damon and Brad Pitt) that break free from their swarm of millions in search of a new life together. David Sims, The Atlantic, "30 Movies That Are Unlike Anything You’ve Seen Before," 23 May 2020 Rent a kayak or BYO, then keep an eye out for puffins and harbor seals en route to this rugged speck just off the coast where amenities are scarce but views are plentiful. Sarah Feldberg, Travel + Leisure, "The Best Place to Camp in Each of the 50 States," 24 Feb. 2017 Science has documented many biofluorescent animals, including sharks, scorpions, butterflies, penguins, jellyfish, puffins and even flying squirrels. Remy Tumin, New York Times, "Stock Market, South Carolina, Donald Judd: Your Friday Evening Briefing," 28 Feb. 2020 Science has documented many biofluorescent animals including chameleons, corals, jellyfish, reef fish, sharks, scorpions, butterflies, budgies, parrots, penguins, puffins, sea turtles and even flying squirrels. Joanna Klein, New York Times, "Salamanders and Frogs Hide a Glowing Secret," 27 Feb. 2020 Whales, puffins, lynx and moose also find places to bed down for the night. David James, Anchorage Daily News, "5 Alaska children’s books perfect for gifting this holiday season," 23 Nov. 2019 The National Aquarium names their puffins according to lineage, picking themes for each family line to make identifying the birds easier. Kelli Bender, PEOPLE.com, "Baby Puffin Named Macaroni Hatches at National Aquarium, Will Join Siblings Ravioli and Gnocchi," 24 Sep. 2019 But no one protests when puffin is on the menu at the islands’ only Michelin-starred restaurant. The Economist, "Puffins on the Faroe Islands are in danger," 9 Aug. 2019 Like penguins, puffins are excellent swimmers and divers—equipped with waterproof feathers and an ability to drink seawater—and breed in large colonies along the shore. National Geographic, "Penguins don't live at the South Pole, and more polar myths debunked," 3 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for puffin

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for puffin

Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Puffin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/puffin. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for puffin


How to pronounce puffin (audio)

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 How to pronounce puffin (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on puffin

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with puffin

Nglish: Translation of puffin for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of puffin for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about puffin

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