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

Example Sentences

The lake is a refuge for migrating waterfowl.
Recent Examples on the Web All that fluff is Responsible Down Standard Certified, meaning that the waterfowl were treated humanely. Delaney Miller, Outside Online, 12 Oct. 2022 Geese and other types of waterfowl are carriers of avian influenza and can pass the virus through saliva, mucus and droppings. Angela Yang, NBC News, 18 Oct. 2022 The populations of waterfowl—such as ducks, geese and swans that inhabit inland lakes, ponds and wetlands—are increasing. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Oct. 2022 And though government officials are primarily concerned about poultry farms, the epidemic has struck wild birds, too — from waterfowl to raptors and vultures. Susanne Ruststaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 3 Oct. 2022 Her curiosity for the distinctive family of waterfowl evolved into an affection that made her protective of the birds. Scott Luxor, Sun Sentinel, 2 Sep. 2022 When to go: October to early December is the best time to see large flocks of waterfowl (including ducks, geese and swans) during migration. Sandra Macgregor, Forbes, 5 May 2022 Ross said all proceeds of the event will be used to either sustain the EXPO or for support of a waterfowl scholarship or restoration of state wetlands open to hunters. Paul A. Smith, Journal Sentinel, 3 Sep. 2022 Animals that commonly carry the virus, such as waterfowl, may be turned away for fear of spreading the flu. Mindy Moradi And Sophie Cadran, oregonlive, 9 Aug. 2022 See More

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

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 28 Nov. 2022.

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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