The European golden plover (Pluvialis apricaria), also known as the Eurasian golden plover or just the golden plover within Europe, is a largish plover. This species is similar to two other golden plovers: the American golden plover, Pluvialis dominica, and Pacific golden plover, Pluvialis fulva, which are both smaller, slimmer and relatively longer-legged than European golden plover, and both have grey rather than white axillary feathers (only properly visible in flight).
The genus name is Latin and means relating to rain, from pluvia, "rain". It was believed that golden plovers flocked when rain was imminent. The species name apricaria is Latin and means to bask in the sun.