wa·​ter·​fowl ˈwȯ-tər-ˌfau̇(-ə)l How to pronounce waterfowl (audio)
plural waterfowl also waterfowls
: 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 Local waterfowl guide Adam Travis spotted a green bottle lying near some marsh grass in Shinnecock Bay on Long Island last week. Sarah Engel, CNN, 7 Feb. 2024 In addition to smaller fish, muskies will pounce on waterfowl, rodents and frogs. Jordan Rodriguez, Idaho Statesman, 31 Jan. 2024 The waterfowl can carry the virus without getting sick and easily spread it through their droppings to chicken and turkey farms and backyard flocks through droppings and nasal discharges. Terry Chea The Associated Press, arkansasonline.com, 28 Jan. 2024 Ten percent of net profits from the 1871 Club will go to nonprofit organizations supporting outdoor conservation, such as Ducks Unlimited, a Field & Stream partner that supports wetland and waterfowl conservation. Malia Mendez, Los Angeles Times, 26 Jan. 2024 Hydrilla is an invasive aquatic plant that bass and waterfowl love. Steve Waters, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 Fulvous and black-bellies display a slower wing beat and longer silhouette than the more commonly hunted waterfowl. M.d. Johnson, Field & Stream, 10 Jan. 2024 Blankets woven of dog hair, often mixed with hair from mountain goats and waterfowl or plant fibers, were important trade and gift items. Chris Stantis, Discover Magazine, 25 Dec. 2023 Ground-dwelling birds, like turkeys, pheasants, grouse, and waterfowl are also popular targets. Hampton Bourne, Field & Stream, 22 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'waterfowl.' 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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near waterfowl

Cite this Entry

“Waterfowl.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/waterfowl. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


wa·​ter·​fowl ˈwȯt-ər-ˌfau̇l How to pronounce waterfowl (audio)
plural waterfowl also waterfowls
: a bird that is found in or near water
especially : a swimming bird (as a duck or goose) often hunted as game

More from Merriam-Webster on waterfowl

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