storm petrel

noun
variants: or less commonly storm-petrel play \ˈstȯrm-ˈpe-trəl, -ˈpē-trəl\

Definition of storm petrel

: any of various widespread small dark petrels (family Hydrobatidae) that typically return to land only to nest usually in burrows called also Mother Carey's chicken

Recent Examples of storm petrel from the Web

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

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illustration of storm petrel

First Known Use of storm petrel

circa 1833

in the meaning defined above

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