snowy owl

noun

Definition of snowy owl

: a large ground-nesting diurnal arctic owl (Nyctea scandiaca) that enters the chiefly northern parts of the U.S. in winter and has plumage that is sometimes nearly pure white but usually with brownish spots or bars

Illustration of snowy owl

Illustration of snowy owl

Examples of snowy owl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The snowy owl's migration patterns often take it south for the winter from its summer breeding grounds in Canada, but the species has rarely been seen as far away as Washington and the surrounding region. Noah Minnie, ABC News, 13 Jan. 2022 Far from its summer breeding grounds in Canada, the snowy owl was first seen on Jan. 3, the day a winter storm dumped eight inches of snow on the city. Christina Larson, USA TODAY, 11 Jan. 2022 Far from its summer breeding grounds in Canada, the snowy owl was first seen on Jan. 3, the day a winter storm dumped eight inches of snow on the city. Christina Larson, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 Jan. 2022 Far from its summer breeding grounds in Canada, the snowy owl was first seen on Jan. 3, the day a winter storm dumped eight inches of snow on the city. Christina Larson, ajc, 10 Jan. 2022 Far from its summer breeding grounds in Canada, the snowy owl was first seen on January 3, the day a winter storm dumped eight inches of snow on the city. Christina Larson, chicagotribune.com, 10 Jan. 2022 The same snowy owl was seen in December just north of the McMillan reservoir near MedStar Washington Hospital Center in D.C., according to the city’s biologist, Dan Rauch. Washington Post, 10 Jan. 2022 Experts said snowy owl irruptions usually happen every four to five years, when the birds tend to migrate farther south than normal after a jump in population. Washington Post, 22 Dec. 2021 So the first rule of respectful snowy owl viewing is keep your distance. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 20 Dec. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'snowy owl.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of snowy owl

1781, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About snowy owl

Time Traveler for snowy owl

Time Traveler

The first known use of snowy owl was in 1781

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near snowy owl

snowy orchid

snowy owl

snowy plover

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for snowy owl

Last Updated

17 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Snowy owl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/snowy%20owl. Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on snowy owl

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about snowy owl

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!