wa·ter·fowl | \ˈwȯ-tər-ˌfau̇(-ə)l, 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

The low altitude and moderate speed is necessary for the two observers on board to do their jobs – count and identify waterfowl. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: As habitat dwindles, duck numbers deserve a close watch," 4 July 2018 Sabine Ranch holds some of Texas’ best remaining nesting/brood rearing habitat for mottled ducks, and its wetlands and prairie attract some of the densest concentrations of wintering waterfowl found on the upper Texas coast. Shannon Tompkins, Houston Chronicle, "Major additions in the works for Texas’ public lands," 22 Apr. 2018 Although parts of Centennial Lake near Columbia, Md., are still frozen over, there are still plenty of non-frozen areas for local waterfowl to enjoy. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, "PM Update: Not quite as cold tonight as it has been, then a mild and beautiful Friday," 18 Jan. 2018 By land, sea and marsh, the numbers show that a chart-buster era for fish, whales, wildlife and waterfowl has arrived in the Bay Area, California and — in some cases — across North America. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Chart-buster times: salmon to whales, bears to bighorns," 8 July 2018 Mashpee police are searching for a boater who allegedly crashed a vessel into a swan last month at a local pond, in what a witness said was an intentional act that ultimately killed the waterfowl, according to law enforcement officials. Travis Andersen, BostonGlobe.com, "Mashpee police looking for boater who intentionally crashed vessel into swan," 14 June 2018 When the word gained popularity in the United States, it was meant to differentiate hunters who did not earn an income from their hunting activity from market hunters, who decimated the waterfowl, buffalo and passenger pigeon populations for profit. Author: Christine Cunningham, Anchorage Daily News, "What is a sport hunter? Words don’t always fit a person’s motivation," 26 Apr. 2018 Along with serving as breeding and migration habitats for waterfowl, wetlands serve as nature’s filtration system, Sebastian said. Mi Clear, Detroit Free Press, "MI CLEAR brings together diverse groups to reduce algae blooms in Lake Erie," 20 June 2018 Ray and Willughby divided birds into landfowl and waterfowl and then, on the basis of anatomical details like beaks, feet or body size, into successive subdivisions. Jenny Uglow, WSJ, "‘The Wonderful Mr. Willughby’ Review: Hatching a New Science," 5 July 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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Statistics for waterfowl

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for waterfowl

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

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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, 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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