Definition of gentoo in English:


(also gentoo penguin)


  • A tall penguin with a white triangular patch above the eye, breeding on subantarctic islands.

    Pygoscelis papua, family Spheniscidae

    • ‘For his photograph, he camped out for a week on New Island, which shelters more than 5,000 gentoos year-round.’
    • ‘As a mother gentoo penguin flees downhill from her frantically pestering offspring, the whole train trips over itself, squawking and skidding uncontrollably.’
    • ‘Elephant and fur seals, for example, once rare in the area around Palmer Station, are now quite common, as are the gentoo and chinstrap penguins that were absent in previous years.’
    • ‘You'll be happy to know that the penguin population is thriving and gentoos were the most populous distribution!’
    • ‘Previous data support a significant relationship between sea-surface temperature and the breeding success of krill-loving gentoo penguins.’


Mid 19th century: perhaps from Anglo-Indian Gentoo ‘a Hindu’, from Portuguese gentio ‘gentile’.