• WordNet 3.6
    • n dotterel rare plover of upland areas of Eurasia
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Dotterel (Zoöl) A European bird of the Plover family (Eudromias morinellus, syn. Charadrius morinellus). It is tame and easily taken, and is popularly believed to imitate the movements of the fowler. "In catching of dotterels we see how the foolish bird playeth the ape in gestures."
    • Dotterel A silly fellow; a dupe; a gull.
    • a Dotterel Decayed. "Some old dotterel trees."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n dotterel The popular name of a kind of plover, Ægialites or Eudromias morinellus, abundant in Europe and Asia. It breeds in high latitudes and performs extensive migrations twice a year, appearing in temperate regions in April and May, and again in September and October. The dotterel is about 10 inches long, and weighs 4 or 5 ounces; the bill is an inch long; the general plumage is much variegated above; the belly is black, the breast yellow, with a white and black collar. It derives its name from its apparent stupidity, or tameness, allowing itself to be easily approached and taken. Its flesh is much esteemed for food. Several related species receive the same name, with qualifying terms.
    • n dotterel Hence A booby; a dupe; a gull.
    • n dotterel An aged, decaying tree: same as dotard, 3: also used attributively.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Dotterel dot′ėr-el a kind of plover, named from its apparent stupidity in allowing itself to be approached and caught: a stupid fellow, a dupe.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
From Dote (v. i.)
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Also spelt dottrel, from dote.


In literature:

It's a queer fancy in the auld dotterel.
"The Moon Endureth--Tales and Fancies" by John Buchan
DOTTEREL, plover; gull, fool.
"Volpone; Or, The Fox" by Ben Jonson
DOTTEREL, plover; gull, fool.
"The Alchemist" by Ben Jonson
DOTTEREL, plover; gull, fool.
"The Poetaster" by Ben Jonson
DOTTEREL, plover; gull, fool.
"Sejanus: His Fall" by Ben Jonson
DOTTEREL, plover; gull, fool.
"Every Man In His Humor" by Ben Jonson
Tell Master Dotterell to come hither to me.
"By England's Aid" by G. A. Henty
The Dotterel is included in Professor Ansted's list, and by him marked as having occurred in Guernsey and Sark.
"Birds of Guernsey (1879)" by Cecil Smith
GOULD, Mr., on sexual plumage of Gray Phalarope, 115; on incubation by male Dotterell, 115.
"Contributions to the Theory of Natural Selection" by Alfred Russel Wallace
The dotterel is about 8 inches long.
"The New Gresham Encyclopedia" by Various