swift·​let | \ ˈswif(t)-lət How to pronounce swiftlet (audio) \

Definition of swiftlet

: any of various cave-dwelling swifts (genus Collocalia synonym Aerodramus) of Asia including one (C. fuciphaga) that produces the nest used in bird's nest soup

Examples of swiftlet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the 1990s rising incomes in China prompted a boom in demand for swiftlet saliva. 1843, "My quest to understand the appeal of bird’s nest soup," 22 Nov. 2019 Tan’s nest once belonged to a swiftlet, a small bird native to caves in Southeast Asia. 1843, "My quest to understand the appeal of bird’s nest soup," 22 Nov. 2019 Other prehistoric animals that dropped off the face of the Earth around that time were species of crocodiles, turtles, and several birds, like ancient flamingo-like palaelodids, swiftlets, pigeons, parrots, and shorebirds. Gavin Mouldey, National Geographic, "Extinct Burrowing Bat Discovered, and It Was Giant," 11 Jan. 2018 Efforts to provide protection for swiftlets against international trade have failed, and an investigation in 2000 by the San Francisco Chronicle reported that in some areas, there are only one-third as many nests as in 1990. National Geographic, "Five Ways China’s Wildlife Protection Law Will Harm Wildlife," 1 Feb. 2016

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

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First Known Use of swiftlet

circa 1890, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of swiftlet was circa 1890

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Cite this Entry

“Swiftlet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swiftlet. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on swiftlet

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about swiftlet

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