Definition of kittiwake in English:



  • A small gull that nests in colonies on sea cliffs, having a loud call that resembles its name.

    • ‘Bempton is the largest seabird colony in England and is home to a breathtaking array of gannets, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes, fulmars - and puffins.’
    • ‘The northwards path along a rocky coastline takes you to the castle, a romantic ruin where kittiwakes, cormorants and fulmars nest on whinstone cliffs.’
    • ‘The UK government uses kittiwakes as an indicator of the state of the sea.’
    • ‘Coastal and seabird numbers have remained stable, with big increases in guillemot numbers balancing the decline in kittiwakes.’
    • ‘Wardens are now pinning their hopes on the next few months, when the kittiwake's chicks will hatch, and say the recent good weather may make for a ‘bumper crop’.’


Early 17th century (originally Scots): imitative of its call.