Definition of phalarope in English:



  • A small wading or swimming bird with a straight bill and lobed feet, unusual in that the female is more brightly coloured than the male.

    Genus Phalaropus, family Scolopacidae (subfamily Phalaropodinae): three species

    • ‘In the mud flats of the Bay of Fundy, you'll see large roosts of shorebirds - plovers, yellowlegs, godwits, curlews, and phalaropes - at high tide.’
    • ‘An estimated 1.5 million eared grebes, 50,000 Wilson's phalaropes, 50,000 California gulls, and 200 snowy plovers visit Mono Lake each spring and summer.’
    • ‘The best known of sex-role-reversed shorebirds are the spotted sandpiper, phalaropes (genus Phalaropus), and jacanas (family Jacanidae).’
    • ‘The Red-necked Phalarope (formerly the Northern Phalarope) is the smallest of the three phalaropes and has the shortest bill.’
    • ‘Red Phalaropes are the least common of the two ocean-going phalaropes, seen about half as often on boat trips as Red-necked Phalaropes.’


Late 18th century from French, from modern Latin Phalaropus, formed irregularly from Greek phalaris ‘coot’ + pous, pod- ‘foot’.