Definitions

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

  • n. A large flightless sea bird (Pinguinus impennis) formerly common on northern Atlantic coasts but extinct since the middle of the 19th century.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A large auk, Pinguinus impennis.

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

  • n. large flightless auk of rocky islands off northern Atlantic coasts; extinct

Etymologies

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Examples

  • Native to islands of the North Atlantic, it might have escaped total eradication by humans if not for the fact that, unlike puffins and murrelets, the great auk was flightless.

    The Song of The Dodo

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  • The Great Auk (Pinguinus impennis, formerly in genus Alca) is an extinct bird. It was the only species in the genus Pinguinus - flightless giant auks from the Atlantic - to survive until modern times, but it has been extinct since the mid-19th century. It was also known as garefowl or gairfowl (from the Old Norse geirfugl, meaning "spear-bird", a reference to the shape of its beak), or penguin (before the birds known today under that name were called so).

    In the past, the Great Auk was found in great numbers on islands off eastern Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Ireland and Great Britain, but it was eventually hunted to extinction.

    _Wikipedia

    January 30, 2008