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

Examples of willet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This scenic bayside village between Newport and Providence is home to intriguing species such as the wading willet and the iridescent purple martin, depending on the season. Alexandra Marvar, Travel + Leisure, 27 Aug. 2023 Other sightings around the Cape included 5 snowy egrets in West Dennis, a continuing willet at Red River Beach in Harwich, 8 red crossbills in East Harwich, and a clapper rail in Brewster. BostonGlobe.com, 12 Apr. 2023 Other sightings around the Cape included 5 purple martins and a cliff swallow in Mashpee, a willet in West Dennis, a glaucous gull in Osterville, indigo buntings in Hyannis and Chatham, blue-gray gnatcatchers in Harwich and Eastham, and an early great-crested flycatcher and house wren in Orleans. BostonGlobe.com, 20 Apr. 2022 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

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'willet.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 16 Jun. 2024.

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