Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th 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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A nun (because of the black and white habit).
  • n. 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. A spiny bromeliad with egg-shaped fleshy fruit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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. 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.

from The 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.)
  • n. The wild pineapple, Bromelia Pinguin.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. short-legged flightless birds of cold southern especially Antarctic regions having webbed feet and wings modified as flippers

Etymologies

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)
Unknown origin. Possibly from Welsh pen ("head") and gwyn ("white"), or from Latin pinguis ("fat"). See citations and the Wikipedia page. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • " Penguin In ornithology a name first given by the Dutch to the Aptenodytes of the south to indicate the oily nature of their fat See Aptenodytes " -A technological dictionary: explaining the terms of the arts, sciences ... page 552
    By W. M. Buchanan http://books.google.ca/books?id=BzRRAAAAYAAJ 1846

    July 10, 2013

  • Yes. Linkified, with the caveat that it’s more of a those-dumb-scientists-are-wasting-our-money humor piece than an actual news item (e.g., the subtitle is “Happy Feet Penguin Goes Missing... Nom Nom Nom Nom”, and the linked sources cited are an editorial and an article in The Sun. The bit where they shove the penguin down the ramp is a little funny). You might find more useful information here.

    September 26, 2011

  • Would this be the appropriate place to mention the headline I saw recently on "Headlines that suck"?
    Pampered 'Happy Feet' Penguin "Eaten by Killer Whale"

    September 25, 2011

  • I'm sure he will live Apsley ever after.

    September 25, 2011

  • Apsley is so pleased.

    September 24, 2011

  • Ah. I found a thinner one (“”), propping up a table leg. With some cropping, your fledgy friend can use this for his visa:

     .+.
    /( )\
    -- --

    September 24, 2011

  • Shirley bilby: Here’s a non-breaking space: “ ”. I’ve been using them for indentation ever since we lost the blockquote tag. (It’s a flimsy substitute therefor, but adequate for short lines that won’t wrap.)

    Here’s Apsley looking almost into the camera:

     .+.
    /( )\
    -- --

    (I’ve got some other widths around here somewhere . . . .)

    September 24, 2011

  • No I don't. Apsley was named after the brave Antarctic explorer Apsley Cherry-Garrard.

    And stop calling me Shirley.

    September 21, 2011

  • Bilby--surely you don't mean Rick Apsley.

    September 21, 2011

  • Thank you yarb--I'm sure most people would assume CSP was the evil one. But we know better, don't we?

    September 21, 2011

  • Apsley. He says he is horizontal quite some of the time and that Melville should have looked harder.

    September 21, 2011

  • What is its name?

    September 21, 2011

  • Perhaps Melville was looking at penguins the wrong way, i.e. horizontally.

    n.b. that is a handsome, and very symmetrical, penguin.

    September 21, 2011

  • A bit lopsided, perhaps due to the way Bugnik displays photrealistic ASCII Sphenisciformes, but very symmetrical.

    September 21, 2011

  • .+.
    /( )\
    -- --

    September 21, 2011

  • All the penguins in my neighbourhood are very symmetrical.

    September 21, 2011

  • Sometimes I think of Melville as the evil twin of Charles Sanders Peirce.

    September 21, 2011

  • Haven't you noticed how awfully asymmetric penguins are?

    September 21, 2011

  • Hardly as symmetrical?

    September 21, 2011

  • "What outlandish beings are these? Erect as men, but hardly as symmetrical, they stand all round the rock like sculptured caryatides, supporting the next range of eaves above. Their bodies are grotesquely misshapen; their bills short; their feet seemingly legless; while the members at their sides are neither fin, wing, nor arm. And truly neither fish, flesh, nor fowl is the penguin; as an edible, pertaining neither to Carnival nor Lent; without exception the most ambiguous and least lovely creature yet discovered by man. Though dabbling in all three elements, and indeed possessing some rudimental claims to all, the penguin is at home in none. On land it stumps; afloat it sculls; in the air it flops. As if ashamed of her failure, Nature keeps this ungainly child hidden away at the ends of the earth, in the Straits of Magellan, and on the abased sea-story of Rodondo."

    - Melville, The Encantadas, Sketch Third

    September 20, 2011

  • The Penguins are a hockey team from Pittsburgh.

    Go Steelers.

    February 1, 2009

  • The great auk, now extinct.

    Also, says the O.E.D., a rare verb meaning 'to publish as a Penguin book'.

    February 1, 2009

  • All hail the emperor

    November 23, 2007