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[hwip-er-wil, wip-; hwip-er-wil, wip-] /ˈʰwɪp ərˌwɪl, ˈwɪp-; ˌʰwɪp ərˈwɪl, ˌwɪp-/
a nocturnal North American nightjar, Caprimulgus vociferus, having a variegated plumage of gray, black, white, and tawny.
Origin of whippoorwill
1700-10, Americanism; imitative Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for whippoorwill
  • The park offers modern sanitation facilities, and guests are treated to whippoorwill and coyote songs on the grounds.
  • It had the whippoorwill and the hoot owl and crickets for music.
  • The song of the whippoorwill blends with the call of the coyote in a nighttime serenade.
British Dictionary definitions for whippoorwill


a nightjar, Caprimulgus vociferus, of North and Central America, having a dark plumage with white patches on the tail
Word Origin
C18: imitative of its cry
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for whippoorwill

1709, imitative of its cry.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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