sand·​pip·​er ˈsan(d)-ˌpī-pər How to pronounce sandpiper (audio)
: any of various small shorebirds (family Scolopacidae, the sandpiper family) distinguished from the related plovers chiefly by the longer and soft-tipped bill

Illustration of sandpiper

Illustration of sandpiper

Examples of sandpiper in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Bragging Rights Despite only weighing the equivalent of four nickels, the plucky western sandpiper migrates thousands of miles between Alaska and South America. Alexandra Marvar, Travel + Leisure, 27 Aug. 2023 Five bank swallows were tallied at Rumney Marsh in Revere, and a pectoral sandpiper was observed at Belle Isle in East Boston., 12 Aug. 2023 Don’t expect great cellphone reception, and your closest neighbor might be a sandpiper nesting in the beach grass. Steve Annear,, 4 May 2023 Awe-inspiring wildlife can be found on land (including black bears and deer), in the sea (several species of whales, sea otters, and seals), and in the sky above (bald eagles, sandpipers, and hundreds more). Lauren Dana Ellman, Travel + Leisure, 16 July 2023 Youth Winner This action shot of a sandpiper in New Jersey earned Kieran Barlow the title Youth Winner for the 2023 Audubon Photography Awards. Staff Author, Peoplemag, 23 June 2023 Details here and here. BEACH WALK Beach season starts now: Grab your binoculars to check out sandpipers, eiders, buffleheads at Norman Bird Sanctuary’s stroll on Third Beach. Lauren Daley,, 25 May 2023 Wintering migrants: In winter the refuge sees a big population of shore birds from the north, including Western sandpiper and spotted sandpiper as well as waterfowl such as ducks. Shanti Lerner, The Arizona Republic, 1 Apr. 2022 See in that pond just before the sandpiper? Jeffrey Gettleman, Travel + Leisure, 17 Apr. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1674, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sandpiper was in 1674

Dictionary Entries Near sandpiper

Cite this Entry

“Sandpiper.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


sand·​pip·​er -ˌpī-pər How to pronounce sandpiper (audio)
: any of numerous small shorebirds with usually long bills and legs

More from Merriam-Webster on sandpiper

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