sooty tern


Definition of sooty tern

: a widely distributed tern (Sterna fuscata) of tropical oceans that is blackish above and white below

called also wideawake

Examples of sooty tern in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Most likely from bird droppings; a whole colony of sooty terns had taken up residence among the cliffs surrounding the lake. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "A Young Island in the South Pacific Oozes Mysteries and Mud," 5 Feb. 2019 Gilardi periodically comes to Wake to study the migratory seabirds, like the sooty terns, that stop here on their journey across the ocean. CBS News, "Wake Island: Where America's day really begins," 14 Jan. 2018 The photo this week is of a sooty tern by Jeff Lemons Tropical systems are well known for their ability to displace seabirds caught up in the center of rotation. Taylor Piephoff, charlotteobserver, "Look what the hurricane blew in," 22 Sep. 2017

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

1785, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sooty tern

Dictionary Entries near sooty tern

sooty ore

sooty shearwater

sooty stripe

sooty tern

sooty wing



Statistics for sooty tern

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sooty tern

The first known use of sooty tern was in 1785

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on sooty tern Encyclopedia article about sooty tern

Comments on sooty tern

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


friendly or mild

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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