ki·​wi | \ ˈkē-(ˌ)wē How to pronounce kiwi (audio) \

Definition of kiwi

1 : any of a small genus (Apteryx) of flightless New Zealand birds with rudimentary wings, stout legs, a long bill, and grayish brown hairlike plumage
2 capitalized : a native or resident of New Zealand used as a nickname
3 : kiwifruit

Illustration of kiwi

Illustration of kiwi

kiwi 1

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Did you know?

A kiwi is any of three species of chicken-sized, grayish brown flightless birds found in New Zealand. Their Maori name refers to the male's shrill call. Kiwis have vestigial wings hidden within the plumage; nostrils at the tip (rather than the base) of the long flexible bill; soft, hairlike feathers; and stout, muscular legs. Each of the four toes has a large claw. Kiwis live in forests, where they sleep by day and forage for worms, insects and their larvae, and berries at night. They run swiftly and use their claws in defense when cornered.

Examples of kiwi in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After the first use, my new walnut cutting board was sort of fuzzy, like a giant kiwi fruit. Ali Francis, Bon Appétit, 12 Aug. 2021 Adding a fruit like Korean pear, apple, or even kiwi helps to add a light sweetness and tenderize the meat, while adding a bit of rice vinegar can bring tartness and acidity. Irene Yoo, Bon Appétit, 27 Aug. 2021 Curly willow, birch branch, kiwi vine or eucalyptus will instantly make an arrangement look larger and more interesting. Marni Jameson,, 17 Sep. 2021 The town overlooks a fertile former marshland dotted with lush gardens, kiwi plantations, lakes and grazing buffalo. Silvia Marchetti, CNN, 21 Aug. 2021 Muddle the kiwi and cucumber together before adding in Helix Vodka, St. Germain, lime juice, and simple syrup. Karla Alindahao, Forbes, 1 Sep. 2021 In the delivery: fresh apples, tomatoes and kiwi, and a pizza-making kit. Abigail Rosenthal, Chron, 31 Aug. 2021 Puree fresh kiwi, raspberries, peaches, and blackberries; layer in molds; and freeze. Erin Mayer, Better Homes & Gardens, 5 Aug. 2021 The swim trunks for this flavor are split between the strawberry and kiwi materials as well. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 13 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kiwi.' 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 kiwi

1835, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for kiwi


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Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Kiwi.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for kiwi



English Language Learners Definition of kiwi

: a person who lives in or is from New Zealand
: a bird from New Zealand that cannot fly and that has a long bill


ki·​wi | \ ˈkē-wē How to pronounce kiwi (audio) \

Kids Definition of kiwi

1 : a grayish brown bird of New Zealand that is unable to fly
2 : kiwifruit

More from Merriam-Webster on kiwi

Nglish: Translation of kiwi for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of kiwi for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about kiwi


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