wa·​ter·​fowl | \ ˈwȯ-tər-ˌfau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce waterfowl (audio) , ˈwä-\
plural waterfowl also waterfowls

Definition of waterfowl

: a bird that frequents water especially : a swimming game bird (such as a duck or goose) as distinguished from an upland game bird or shorebird

Examples of waterfowl in a Sentence

The lake is a refuge for migrating waterfowl.

Recent Examples on the Web

Ducks and other waterfowl employ special techniques too to prevent their webbed feet from freezing. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Here's How Birds Stay Warm in the Winter, In Case You Were Wondering," 1 Feb. 2019 In the beginning, they were made for one purpose — to lure waterfowl within range of the hunter’s shotgun. baltimoresun.com, "37th annual Decoy & Wildlife Art Festival returns to Havre de Grace next weekend," 2 May 2018 Hike and paddle through unadulterated trails and tidal marshes amid hundreds of coastal bird species at the 27,000-acre estuarine waterfowl sanctuary, Blackwater Wildlife Refuge (fws.gov/refuge/Blackwater/). Stephanie Citron, baltimoresun.com, "Can’t-miss detours along Maryland's Eastern Shore to explore on your beach trip this summer," 8 May 2018 What doesn't immediately come to mind is all the waterfowl waste New Richmond and other river towns deal with if the feathered population becomes too dense. Bob Strickley, Cincinnati.com, "3 headlines you may have missed: 💩 in New Richmond, calorie counts, y'all use this app?," 7 May 2018 The behavior also is observed in other waterfowl and in other parts of the world. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Canada geese grouping up before molt migration," 9 June 2018 The 2018 Wisconsin breeding waterfowl survey was completed between April 30 and May 18. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: As habitat dwindles, duck numbers deserve a close watch," 4 July 2018 Now, Swan Upping is more about waterfowl education and conservation. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Inside the Royal Family’s Oddest Tradition: Swan Upping," 17 July 2018 One of the many groups participating is Ducks Unlimited, the world’s largest wetlands and waterfowl conservation organization. Mi Clear, Detroit Free Press, "MI CLEAR brings together diverse groups to reduce algae blooms in Lake Erie," 20 June 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

17 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for waterfowl

The first known use of waterfowl was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for waterfowl



English Language Learners Definition of waterfowl

: a duck or similar bird that swims and lives in or near water


wa·​ter·​fowl | \ ˈwȯ-tər-ˌfau̇l How to pronounce waterfowl (audio) , ˈwä-\

Kids Definition of waterfowl

1 : a bird that is typically found in or near water
2 : a swimming bird (as a duck or goose) often hunted as game

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More from Merriam-Webster on waterfowl

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with waterfowl

Spanish Central: Translation of waterfowl

Nglish: Translation of waterfowl for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about waterfowl

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