wil·​let | \ ˈwi-lət How to pronounce willet (audio) \
plural willets also willet

Definition of 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 At low tides, sandpipers and willets are common on the mudflats. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "80-mile Bay Trail inches closer to reality," 30 Jan. 2020 Ten least sandpipers, 34 semipalmated sandpipers, a willet, and two lesser and 10 greater yellowlegs were also seen. BostonGlobe.com, "Bird sightings," 29 July 2019 Males and females have similar plumage, but female willets are slightly larger. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Willets right at home along San Diego shorelines," 18 July 2019 Depending on the time of the year, willets can display quite different color patterns. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Willets right at home along San Diego shorelines," 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, "Ruling May Be Death Knell for $3 Billion Queens Development," 6 June 2017

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.

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First Known Use of willet

1791, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for willet


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The first known use of willet was in 1791

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Cite this Entry

“Willet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/willet. Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on willet

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about willet

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