American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various stout flightless marine birds of the family Spheniscidae, of cool regions of the Southern Hemisphere, having flipperlike wings and webbed feet adapted for swimming and diving, and short scalelike feathers that are white in front and black on the back.
- n. Obsolete The great auk.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The great auk, Alca impennis; the original sense.
- n. Any species of the family Spheniscidæ or Aptenodytidæ. (See Spheniscidæ for technical characters.) Penguins are remarkably distinguished from all other birds by the reduction of the wings to mere flippers, covered with scaly feathers (see Impennes, Squamipennes), used for swimming under water, but unfit for flight. The feathers of the upper parts have also broad flattened shafts and slight webs, being thus like scales; the feet are webbed and four-toed, though the hind toe is very short; the tail is short and stiff; the general form is stout and ungainly. On land the birds stand nearly erect and waddle clumsily, but they are agile and graceful in the water. They feed on fish and other animal food, and congregate on shore to breed in penguineries of great extent. Penguins are confined to the southern hemisphere, especially about Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope, and islands in high southern latitudes, coming nearest the equator on the west coast of South America, as in the case of Humboldt's penguin of Peru. There are more than a dozen species, referable to three leading types. Those of the genus Aptenodytes are the largest, standing about three feet high, and have a slender bill. The name Patagonian penguin, applied to these, covers two species or varieties—a larger, the emperor penguin, A. forsteri or imperator, and a smaller, A. pennanti or rex. (See
emperor.) Jackass-penguins, so called from braying, are medium-sized or rather small, with stout bill, as Spheniscus demersus of South Africa and S. magellanicus of Patagonia. (See cut at Spheniscus.) None of the foregoing are crested; but the members of the genus Eudyptes (or Catarractes), as E. chrysocome or chrysolophus, known as rock-hoppers and macaronis, have curly yellow plumes on each side of the head. (See cut at Eudyptes.) Other medium-sized penguins are Pygoscelis tæniata, P. antarctica, P. antipoda, and Dasyrhamphus adeliæ. The smallest penguin, about a foot long, is Eudyptila minor of Australian and New Zealand shores. The largest, which was taller than a man usually is, is a fossil species named Palæeudyptes antarcticus, from the New Zealand Tertiary.
- n. The wild pineapple, Bromelia Pinguin. Its ovoid succulent berry yields a cooling juice much used in fevers.
- n. slang A nun (because of the black and white habit).
- n. juggling A type of catch where the palm of the hand is facing towards the leg with the arm stretched downward, resembling the flipper of a penguin.
- n. botany A spiny bromeliad with egg-shaped fleshy fruit.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) Any bird of the order Impennes, or Ptilopteri. They are covered with short, thick feathers, almost scalelike on the wings, which are without true quills. They are unable to fly, but use their wings to aid in diving, in which they are very expert. See King penguin, under jackass.
- n. (Bot.) The egg-shaped fleshy fruit of a West Indian plant (Bromelia Pinguin) of the Pineapple family; also, the plant itself, which has rigid, pointed, and spiny-toothed leaves, and is used for hedges.
- n. short-legged flightless birds of cold southern especially Antarctic regions having webbed feet and wings modified as flippers
- Unknown origin. Possibly from Welsh pen ("head") and gwyn ("white"), or from Latin pinguis ("fat"). See citations and the Wikipedia page. (Wiktionary)
- Possibly from Welsh pen gwyn, White Head (name of an island in Newfoundland), great auk : pen, chief, head + gwynn, white. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Second to the penguin is the kelp gull Larus dominicanus with 6,000 active nests.”
“Mario Bros., including Mario in penguin suit, amigurumi by Mindy, who has various items on sale at Etsy.”
“Monday, June 22 2009 club penguin is sooooooooooooo much better than Free Reals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
“The royal penguin is the largest known species of penguin.”
“Maggie's new penguin is made in the USA by workers at Opportunity Threads, a 100% worker-owned cooperative in”
“Berkeley Breathed explains how a certain penguin was able to deflect criticism and controversy.”
“The outer shape apparently evolved before some microscopic changes that may play a role in penguin's underwater prowess.”
“The party penguin is starting the party up a little late due to a hectic day of work and then a sushi party for the Chicago Abortion Fund.”
“Darwin, the little paper penguin is probably the easiest penguin papercraft to assemble.”
“The Galapagos penguin is the only species that lives north of the equator, and that is only because Isabella Island, one of the Galapagos Islands where the species lives and breeds, lies partially north of the equator.”
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