from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of numerous black, gray, or white sea birds of the order Procellariiformes, especially the storm petrel.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any of various species of black, grey, or white seabirds in the order Procellariiformes.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Any one of numerous species of longwinged sea birds belonging to the family Procellaridæ. The small petrels, or Mother Carey's chickens, belong to Oceanites, Oceanodroma, Procellaria, and several allied genera.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A small black-and-white seabird, Procellaria pelagica; hence, any similar bird of pelagic or oceanic habits, with webbed feet, long pointed wings, and tubular nostrils, belonging to the family Procellariidæ and subfamily Procellariinæ.
- n. The kittiwake, a gull.
- n. An obsolete form of poitrel.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. relatively small long-winged tube-nosed bird that flies far from land
Perhaps alteration of earlier pitteral (perhaps influenced by Saint Peter walking on the water, from the fact that the bird flies so close to the water as to appear to be walking on it).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Perhaps a diminutive of Peter, with reference to St. Peter's walking on the water (Matthew 14:29). (Wiktionary)