shear·​wa·​ter | \ ˈshir-ˌwȯ-tər How to pronounce shearwater (audio) , -ˌwä- \

Definition of shearwater

: any of numerous oceanic birds (especially genus Puffinus) that are related to the petrels and usually skim close to the waves in flight

Examples of shearwater in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Cory's shearwaters are long-lived, rarely breeding successfully before age nine. Jason G. Goldman, Scientific American, "Shorebird Learns Long Migration Routes," 1 May 2020 Observers spotted a Cory’s shearwater at Apponagansett Bay in Dartmouth, a marsh wren at Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary in Plymouth, and a grasshopper sparrow at Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary in Marshfield., "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 1 Dec. 2019 Some years 90 percent of shearwater fledglings were found to have at least one piece of plastic in their stomachs. Stephen Leahy, National Geographic, "Seabirds that eat plastic—and live—have major health problems," 2 Aug. 2019 Like nearly all seabirds, shearwaters are only on land to breed and raise young. Stephen Leahy, National Geographic, "Seabirds that eat plastic—and live—have major health problems," 2 Aug. 2019 Offshore: Small flocks of red-necked phalaropes, parasitic and pomarine jaegers, roseate terns, and larger groups of storm-petrels and shearwaters numbering into the hundreds were seen from Jeffrey’s Ledge., "Bird sightings," 4 Aug. 2019 Tropic birds, shearwaters, petrels, terns, boobies, and other birds of the open ocean roost and forage on sargassum mats. David Doubilet, National Geographic, "Life in the North Atlantic depends on this floating seaweed," 12 June 2019 Forktail storm petrels, fulmars, shearwaters, kittiwakes, auklets and puffins also died. Dan Joling, The Seattle Times, "Pace of Bering Sea changes startles scientists," 16 Apr. 2019 Officials recorded deaths of forktail storm petrels, fulmars, shearwaters, kittiwakes, auklets and puffins. Dan Joling, The Seattle Times, "Alaska seabird deaths continue trend tied to warming ocean," 11 Aug. 2018

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

circa 1671, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of shearwater was circa 1671

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Cite this Entry

“Shearwater.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

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