shearwater (plural shearwaters)

  1. Any of the long-winged pelagic seabirds of the family Procellariidae in genera Puffinus, Ardenna, and Calonectris, that breed on islands and coastal cliffs.
    • 1929, Robert Dean Frisbee, The Book of Puka-Puka (republished by Eland, 2019; p. 53):
      At first I would not eat a frigate bird, a booby or a shearwater, but after a few months on the island I tried one broiled over coconut-shell coals, and I have never since missed an opportunity for such a feast.
  2. (by extension) Any of the entire family Procellariidae, including certain of the petrels.
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