from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of several small shorebirds of the genus Phalaropus, having lobed toes and characteristically feeding by spinning in small circles in the water and catching small invertebrates brought to the surface by this motion.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A small wading bird of the family Phalaropodidæ, having lobate toes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) Any species of Phalaropus and allied genera of small wading birds (Grallæ), having lobate toes. They are often seen far from land, swimming in large flocks. Called also sea goose.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any of three small wading birds in the genus Phalaropus, of the family Scolopacidae, that have lobed toes.

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

  • noun small sandpiper-like shorebird having lobate toes and being good swimmers; breed in the Arctic and winter in the tropics


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

[French, from New Latin phalaropūs : Greek phalaris, coot (from phalaros, having a white spot (the Eurasian coot having a fleshy, bright white area on its forehead extending up from its bill between its eyes); see bhel- in Indo-European roots) + Greek pous, foot; see ped- in Indo-European roots.]


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  • phalarope used in the sense of "having a white spot" from the greek root

    January 16, 2007