purple swamphen

noun

Definition of purple swamphen

:a large purplish-blue bird (Porphyrio porphyrio of the family Rallidae) that is native to warmer parts of the Old World and typically frequents wet areas and that has long red legs and a thick red bill
  • Spring rain has brought the purple swamphens to the region's roadsides. The bird, which looks like a purple chicken, darts along the side of the road waiting for an opportunity to cross.
  • The Newcastle (Australia) Herald2 Nov. 2010
  • … out to kill exotic purple swamphens—colorful, nonnative birds that infest a network of stormwater treatment areas constructed by the South Florida Water Management District …
  • —Sue CockingThe Miami Herald16 Dec. 2010
called also purple gallinule

There's more!

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!
Already a subscriber? Log in.

First Known Use of purple swamphen

1949


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

ditzy

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!