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gull

gull, common name for an aquatic bird of the family Laridae, which also includes the tern and the jaeger. It is found near all oceans and many inland waters. Gulls are larger and bulkier than terns, and their tails are squared rather than forked. Their plumage is usually white with gray or black markings on the back, wings, and head. Their long, narrow wings are adapted to soaring and their webbed feet to swimming. They have strong bills, hooked at the end; they eat clams and fish and sometimes insects, but are most useful as scavengers in harbors and bays. They are often seen hovering over the wakes of ships, seeking refuse, and frequenting garbage dumps. The common gull—called sea gull in North America—is the herring gull Larus argentatus smithsonianus, a subspecies of the common European gull L. argentatus. It is found on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and on the Great Lakes. The larger great black-backed gull, L. marinus, is more northern; the ring-billed, Bonaparte's, and laughing gull are smaller. The Franklin's gull of the Great Plains is called the "prairie dove." The California and western gulls are common on the Pacific coast. The kittiwake is a small oceanic gull of the genus Rissa, seldom seen on land. The lesser black-backed and little gulls are European. Gulls are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Charadriiformes, family Laridae.

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gull

gull (seagull) Any of various ground-nesting birds found along coastlines. They eat carrion, refuse, fish, shellfish, eggs, and young birds. The herring gull (Larus argentatus) is grey and white with black markings, hooked bill, pointed wings and webbed feet. It grows to 56–66cm (22–26in). The black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus) is smaller, with black feathers on its head in summer. Family Laridae.

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gull

gull1 / gəl/ • n. a long-winged, web-footed seabird (Larus and other genera, family Laridae) with a raucous call, typically having white plumage with a gray or black mantle. gull2 • v. [tr.] fool or deceive (someone): workers had been gulled into inflicting poverty and deprivation upon themselves. • n. a person who is fooled or deceived.

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gull

gull1 (dial.) unfledged bird; gosling. XIV. prob. sb. use of †gull yellow (- ON. gulr).
Hence, perh. partly the use of gull for ‘credulous person, dupe’ (late XVI), but cf. the somewhat earlier gull vb. dupe, cheat, surviving in gullible XIX, which itself may be a transf. use of †gull vb. swallow (XVI), rel. to †gull sb. throat, gullet (XV) — OF. go(u)le (see GULLET).

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gull

gull a credulous person, a dupe, a fool, possibly a transferred used of the word meaning ‘an unfledged bird’.

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gull

gull2 long-winged web-footed sea-bird. XV. prob. — W. gwylan, Cornish guilan :- Celt. *voilenno-.

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gulls

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gull

gullannul, cull, dull, gull, hull, lull, mull, null, scull, skull, Solihull, trull, Tull •seagull • multihull • monohull •numbskull • Elul

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