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

Example Sentences

The lake is a refuge for migrating waterfowl.
Recent Examples on the Web After a cocktail, wrestling a hot, slippery 5-pound waterfowl in a silk blouse does not make for low-stress entertaining. Melissa Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Dec. 2022 The virus is usually spread by waterfowl, especially by what are called dabbling ducks including mallard and teal ducks. Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, 15 Dec. 2022 Keep chickens or ducks away from ponds that could contain waterfowl. Annie Berman, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Dec. 2022 The virus typically arrives to the U.S. from Europe or Eurasia, carried by the waterfowl that fly thousands of miles. oregonlive, 23 Nov. 2022 After handling waterfowl, change or clean clothing, shoes and other equipment before coming into contact with poultry, including commercial production facilities and backyard flocks. Arkansas Online, 19 Nov. 2022 Foster had previously received a summons for waterfowl baiting/taking violations in the same area in October 2009, federal authorities said. Staff, Hartford Courant, 2 Nov. 2022 This subtype is also adaptable to many species of birds and is living in waterfowl longer than the virus has in the past. Laura Reiley, Washington Post, 26 Oct. 2022 And on the remote Isle of Man, the British government confirms that the virus has spread beyond waterfowl. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 18 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near waterfowl

Cite this Entry

“Waterfowl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/waterfowl. Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


wa·​ter·​fowl ˈwȯt-ər-ˌfau̇l How to pronounce waterfowl (audio)
plural waterfowl also waterfowls
: a bird that is found in or near water
especially : a swimming bird (as a duck or goose) often hunted as game

More from Merriam-Webster on waterfowl

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