turnstone

noun
turn·​stone | \ˈtərn-ˌstōn \

Definition of turnstone 

: either of two shorebirds (genus Arenaria) of the sandpiper family:

a : a bird (A. interpres) of worldwide distribution that has black and chestnut upperparts and a black breast

b : a North American bird (A. melanocephala) with black upperparts and breast

Illustration of turnstone

Illustration of turnstone

Examples of turnstone in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In this May 22, 2018 photo, ruddy turnstones, larger birds, and semipalmated sandpipers walk near the shoreline at Kimbles Beach, Middle Township NJ. Washington Post, "Bird flu hot spot: Scientists track virus in huge migration," 28 June 2018 That day, six species of shorebird were present; ruddy turnstone, semipalmated plover, buff-breasted sandpiper, sanderling and white-rumped sandpiper were all tallied. 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 'turnstone.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of turnstone

circa 1674, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for turnstone

from a habit of turning over stones to find food

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about turnstone

Statistics for turnstone

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for turnstone

The first known use of turnstone was circa 1674

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on turnstone

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with turnstone

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about turnstone

Comments on turnstone

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a typical or ideal example

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

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!