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[greeb] /grib/
any diving bird of the family Podicipedidae, related to the loons, but having a rudimentary tail and lobate rather than webbed toes.
Origin of grebe
1760-70; < French grèbe < ? Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for grebe
Historical Examples
  • Specimens of this grebe were obtained near Cordova by White in 1882.

  • Then Mrs. grebe takes her place on it, and proceeds to lay and hatch her eggs.

  • A grebe found only on Lake Titacaca, perched high up a mountain-side is another.

    Birds in Flight W. P. Pycraft
  • A summary word or two, first, respecting the grebe family, will be useful.

    Love's Meinie John Ruskin
  • The nests of the Little grebe may be found floating in every rushy pool.

  • The parent will sometimes dive with its offspring, just as the Little grebe will do.

    British Sea Birds Charles Dixon
  • In the end I chose a violet gown most tastefully trimmed with grebe and a little velvet toque.

    My Own Affairs Louise, Princess of Belgium
  • This grebe is a late breeder, the eggs not being laid before June.

    British Sea Birds Charles Dixon
  • Mr. and Mrs. grebe have very curiously webbed feet, looking more like a horse-chestnut leaf with three lobes than anything else.

  • The nest of the grebe is usually placed in a tuft of rushes, on the edge of the water.

    Reptiles and Birds Louis Figuier
British Dictionary definitions for grebe


any aquatic bird, such as Podiceps cristatus (great crested grebe), of the order Podicipediformes, similar to the divers but with lobate rather than webbed toes and a vestigial tail
Word Origin
C18: from French grèbe, of unknown origin
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 grebe

diving bird, 1766, from French grèbe, of unknown origin, possibly from Breton krib "a comb," since some species are crested.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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