wil·​let ˈwi-lət How to pronounce willet (audio)
plural willets also willet
: a large American shorebird (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus) of the sandpiper family that resembles the greater yellowlegs but has a thicker bill and gray legs and that displays a black-and-white wing pattern when in flight

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Huntington State Beach is home to a number of species of birds, including gulls, willet, elegant terns and reddish egret, which are a rarity on the west coast, according to Ben Smith, a biologist and environmental consultant for the county. Los Angeles Times, 3 Oct. 2021 At low tides, sandpipers and willets are common on the mudflats. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, 30 Jan. 2020 Ten least sandpipers, 34 semipalmated sandpipers, a willet, and two lesser and 10 greater yellowlegs were also seen. BostonGlobe.com, 29 July 2019 Males and females have similar plumage, but female willets are slightly larger. San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 July 2019 Depending on the time of the year, willets can display quite different color patterns. San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 July 2019 Willets Point United, a group composed mainly of the auto body shop owners who have long plied their trade on Willets’s rutted streets, celebrated the decision. Sarah Maslin Nir, New York Times, 6 June 2017 See More

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

Word History



First Known Use

1791, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of willet was in 1791

Dictionary Entries Near willet

Cite this Entry

“Willet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/willet. Accessed 6 Feb. 2023.

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