<zoology> A small European bird of the Plover family (Vanellus cristatus, or V. Vanellus). It has long and broad wings, and is noted for its rapid, irregular fight, upwards, downwards, and in circles. Its back is coppery or greenish bronze. Its eggs are the "plover's eggs" of the London market, esteemed a delicacy. It is called also peewit, dastard plover, and wype. The gray lapwing is the Squatarola cinerea.
Origin: OE.lapwynke, leepwynke, AS. Hleapewince; hleapan to leap, jump + (prob) a word akin to AS. Wincian to wink, E. Wink, AS. Wancol wavering; cf. G. Wanken to stagger, waver. See Leap, and Wink.
(01 Mar 1998)
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