Definition of yellowshank in English:



(also yellowshanks)
  • (More fully "yellowshank snipe") either of two North American migratory sandpipers, the greater yellowlegs (Totanus melanoleucus) and lesser yellowlegs (T. flavipes), having long, thin, dark beaks, long yellow legs, and a grey-brown body with dark markings and pale underparts.

    Also preceded by greater or lesser to distinguish the species.


Late 18th century; earliest use found in Thomas Pennant (1726–1798), naturalist, traveller, and writer.