: any of various seabirds (genus Catharacta) related to the jaegers: such as
b
: a bird (C. maccormicki) that resembles but is slightly smaller than the great skua and that breeds in the Antarctic

Examples of skua in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Each morning, the expedition takes zodiacs out to scout for a safe landing where guests may witness a giant elephant seal yawn or a skua attacking a penguin rookery. Katie Lockhart, Robb Report, 16 Apr. 2024 The virus was found in populations of a scavenging bird called brown skua on Bird Island, which is part of the British overseas territory of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. WIRED, 28 Oct. 2023 That’s the normal timeline of events for birds like the Antarctic petrel, the snow petrel and the south polar skua. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Mar. 2023 The hākoakoa, or subantarctic skua, is the bird equivalent of a pirate, Rykers said. María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post, 17 Oct. 2022 Modest numbers of Cory’s, great, sooty, and Manx shearwaters were spotted at Race Point in Provincetown, where a South Polar skua, two parasitic jaegers, and 300 roseate terns were also observed. BostonGlobe.com, 14 Aug. 2021 The rats—brought to the island by whalers and sealers as early as the late 18th century—ate the eggs and vulnerable chicks of seabirds, including albatrosses, skua, terns, and petrels. National Geographic, 9 May 2018

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

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, from Faeroese skúgvur; akin to Old Norse skūfr tassel, skua, Old English scēaf sheaf — more at sheaf

First Known Use

1678, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of skua was in 1678

Dictionary Entries Near skua

Cite this Entry

“Skua.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/skua. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

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