any of several usually black-and-white diving birds of the family Alcidae, of northern seas, having webbed feet and small wings.
Historical Examples

The puffin uses its wings under the water, and so do the other members of the auk family.
Grenfell: Knight-Errant of the North Fullerton Waldo

Oolichuk continued this process until the first auk was finished.
The Giant of the North R.M. Ballantyne

About three o’clock the Countess of auk’s carriage was summoned, and the company began to retire.
Comical People Unknown

But there was a deplorable lack of information about the haunts and habits of the auk.
The Land of Thor J. Ross Browne

As the official organ of the Union, ‘The auk’ is the leading ornithological publication of this country.
Bird Lore, Volume I–1899 Various

Upon the whole, I thought it would not do to depend upon the auk.
The Land of Thor J. Ross Browne

“King penguin” is another of its names, from its superior size, as it is the largest of the auk or penguin family.
The Land of Fire Mayne Reid

Of all the auk tribe, so far as my experience goes, the Puffin flies the most.
British Sea Birds Charles Dixon

I feel, somehow, that this man Halyard has got an auk—perhaps two.
In Search of the Unknown Robert W. Chambers

Directly north of the latter island is Mendenhall Glacier, formerly known as the auk.
Alaska Ella Higginson

any of various diving birds of the family Alcidae of northern oceans having a heavy body, short tail, narrow wings, and a black-and-white plumage: order Charadriiformes See also great auk, razorbill auk
little auk, dovekie, a small short-billed auk, Plautus alle, abundant in Arctic regions

1670s, from a Scandinavian source, cf. Old Norse alka, probably originally imitative of a water-bird cry (cf. Latin olor “swan,” Greek elea “marsh bird”).


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