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

  • n. Any of various oceanic birds of the genus Puffinus, having a short hooked bill with tube-shaped nostrils and long slender wings that appear to shear the water as the bird flies along the surface.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various long-winged pelagic seabirds in the genera Calonectris or Puffinus, of the family Procellariidae, that breed on islands and coastal cliffs.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any one of numerous species of long-winged oceanic birds of the genus Puffinus and related genera. They are allied to the petrels, but are larger. The Manx shearwater (P. Anglorum), the dusky shearwater (P. obscurus), and the greater shearwater (P. major), are well-known species of the North Atlantic. See hagdon.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A sea-bird of the petrel family, Procellariidæ, and section Puffineæ, having a long and comparatively slender, much-hooked bill, short nasal tubes obliquely truncate and with a thick nasal septum, long pointed wings, short tail, and close oily plumage.
  • n. Same as cutwater, 3. See Rhynchops.

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

  • n. long-winged oceanic bird that in flight skims close to the waves


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The shearwater was a larger species of tern, or sea-swallow; the

    The Wreck of the Nancy Bell Cast Away on Kerguelen Land

  • a gull-like bird called a shearwater belong to the "tube-nosed swimmers," on account of their curious long beaks.

    Stories of California

  • "shearwater" (Puffinus cinereus), which is found on the coast of

    Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Additional immigrants from the south during summer include short-finned squid, fish such as mackerel and bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus), and birds such as greater shearwater (Puffinus gravis) and sooty shearwater (P. griseus).

    Fisheries and aquaculture in the Newfoundland and Labrador Seas, Northeastern Canada

  • The major islands have such special species as the white-tailed tropicbird, the rare Manx (Newell's) shearwater, and the dark-rumped petrel, all of which seek crater walls for nesting.

    Hawaiian Islands Province (Bailey)

  • I admired the bold black strokes of her eyebrows, arched like the wings of a shearwater, and how each could swoop and rise on its own.


  • I clambered in, and as we zoomed south at a terrifying 20 mph, I felt like a Manx shearwater in a wicker basket being flown to Venice.

    A Year on the Wing

  • Scandola Nature Reserve contains a rich pelagic, sedentary and migrant fauna including several dozen pairs of shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmareti, peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus, three or four pairs of osprey Pandion haliaetus and Eleonora falcon Falco eleonorae with Cory's shearwater Puffinus diomedea and Audouin's gull Larus audouinii (R) occurring in the littoral zone.

    Scandola Nature Reserve & Capes Girolata and Porto, France

  • The main southern ocean breeding sites of little shearwater Puffinus assimilis are Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island, with breeding pairs numbering several million.

    Gough Island Wildlife Reserve, United Kingdom

  • Three other breeding species are endemic to the Tristan-Gough islands: great shearwater Puffinus gravis (2 million pairs), Atlantic yellow-nosed mollyhawk Thalassarche chlororhyncos (1,000 pairs) and Atlantic petrel Pterodroma incerta (VU).

    Gough Island Wildlife Reserve, United Kingdom


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  • Wedge-Tailed Shearwaters sound like ghostly kazoos.

    January 31, 2010

  • Electronic tags have offered an insight into the mysteries of the 20,000-km migration of Manx shearwaters.

    February 7, 2009