sooty tern


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

called also wideawake

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web On Bush Key, the park protects a rookery of up to 80,000 nesting sooty terns; this is the only significant nesting ground for the tropical species in the continental U.S. National Geographic, 30 Jan. 2018 The bird reserve is home to four species of pelagic seabirds—the greater crested tern, lesser crested tern, sooty tern, and the brown noddy. K A Shaji, Quartz India, 5 May 2020 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, 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, 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, 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.

Word History

First Known Use

1785, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sooty tern was in 1785

Dictionary Entries Near sooty tern

Cite this Entry

“Sooty tern.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

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