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

  • n. Any of several small wading birds of the family Phalaropodidae, resembling sandpipers but having lobed toes that enable them to swim.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. 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 The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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

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


French, from New Latin phalaropūs : Greek phalaris, coot (from phalaros, having a white spot) + Greek pous, foot.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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

    January 16, 2007