Definitions

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

  • noun Any of several medium-sized shorebirds of the widely distributed genus Vanellus, having distinctive deep wing beats, especially the northern lapwing.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A plover-like bird with four toes, a crest, and lustrous plumage, belonging to the genus Vanellus and family Charadriidæ.

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

  • noun (Zoöl.) A small European bird of the Plover family (Vanellus cristatus, or Vanellus vanellus). It has long and broad wings, and is noted for its rapid, irregular fight, upwards, downwards, and in circles. Its back is coppery or greenish bronze. Its eggs are the “plover's eggs” of the London market, esteemed a delicacy. It is called also peewit, dastard plover, and wype. The gray lapwing is the Squatarola cinerea.

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

  • noun Any of several medium-sized wading birds belonging to the subfamily Vanellinae of the family Charadriidae.
  • noun A silly man.

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

  • noun large crested Old World plover having wattles and spurs

Etymologies

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

[By folk etymology from Middle English lapwink, hoopoe, lapwing, from Old English hlēapewince : hlēapan, to leap + *wincan, to waver.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English hlēapewince, from hlēapan ‘to leap’ + *winc- ‘sway, totter’ (because of its manner of flight). The modern form is partly due to popular etymology.

Examples

Comments

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  • He names a lapwing, starts rabbits in a rout

    legging it most nimble

    to sprigged hedge of bramble,

    stalks red fox, shrewd stoat

    .

    from "Ode for Ted," Sylvia Plath

    April 14, 2008