Definition of murre in US English:



North American
  • A white-breasted North American auk (seabird).

    Genus Uria, family Alcidae: two species, the thick-billed (or Brunnich's) murre (U. lomvia) and the thin-billed (or common) murre (U. aalge)

    • ‘This dazzling white 93-feet structure, the tallest tower in Oregon, is the centerpiece of the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, where puffins, murres, cormorants, and harbor seals make their home.’
    • ‘It does untold damage to the numerous pelagic seabirds indigenous to the area: murres, puffins and gannets.’
    • ‘One would imagine this place to be a paradise of alcids of all types, guillemots, dovekies, puffins, razorbills, murres, and murrelets all splashing around in their black and white finery.’
    • ‘The removal of these predators has benefitted many other bird species on the islands, including puffins, murres, and auklets.’
    • ‘Many of the nesting birds live in colonies: the northern gannet, the blacklegged kittiwake, the heron, the double-crested shag, the thick-billed murre, the Atlantic puffin, and the razorbill.’
    • ‘That information could potentially shed light on whether physiological constraints, rather than strategic adjustments, are most important in limiting egg production in murres and other long-lived seabirds.’
    • ‘After male murres and Razorbills take their small, flightless chicks to sea, they themselves undergo a prebasic molt, becoming flightless.’
    • ‘Here, we use data collected on the diet of an Arctic-breeding seabird, the thick-billed murre, to infer changes in fish populations in northern Hudson Bay over the past two decades.’
    • ‘However, in films of murres underwater, relative upstroke speed and thrust appear (without kinematic analysis) to be greater during vertical descent against high buoyancy than during horizontal swimming.’
    • ‘In the early 19th century, fur traders wiped out its seals; during the Gold Rush, a lucrative and larcenous trade in seabird eggs killed millions of common murres.’
    • ‘Thick-billed murres are arctic seabirds that breed at high densities on cliff ledges, where they lay a single egg without constructing a nest.’
    • ‘Thus, it is likely that food-shortages during the El-Nino of 1997-98 resulted in an increase in corticosterone secretion that directly caused the abandonment of eggs and young chicks by murres.’
    • ‘By interspersing glides, murres in the model were able to regulate their mean descent speed without altering muscle contraction speed or load.’
    • ‘Penguins, cormorants, murres, and guillemots - all pursuit divers - have, among seabirds, the heaviest eggshells as a percentage of whole-egg weight.’
    • ‘He became interested in the subject in the 1970s while studying the mating strategies of common murres on the Welsh island of Skomer for his doctoral dissertation.’
    • ‘However, female murres also laid earlier as they increased in age up to eight years old.’
    • ‘We examined the consequences of natal dispersal on the reproductive success (proportion of pairs rearing chicks) of colonial-breeding Thick-billed murres.’
    • ‘Many shorebirds and seabirds are found here, including rhinoceros auklet, Brandt's cormorants, and all manner of gulls, puffins, petrels, murres, and more.’
    • ‘Our evidence from the diet of nestling thick-billed murres suggests that a switch from an Arctic to a Subarctic fish community occurred from 1997 onwards.’
    • ‘However, 93% of the murres identified were Thick-billed Murres.’


Late 16th century: of unknown origin.