any of a family (Hydrobatidae) of petrels; esp., a black-and-white species (Hydrobates pelagicus) of the N Atlantic and the Mediterranean
also storm petrel
Any of various small seabirds of the family Hydrobatidae, found in most of the world's oceans and generally having dark plumage. Also called stormy petrel.
Origin of storm-petrelProbably from the fact that they take shelter in the lees of ships during storms.
(plural storm petrels)
- Any of several small seabirds, of the family Hydrobatidae, having dark plumage and a white rump.
- Alternative spelling of storm petrel.