Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various New World birds of the family Icteridae, such as the grackle or red-winged blackbird, the male of which has black or predominantly black plumage.
  • n. An Old World songbird (Turdus merula), the male of which is black with a yellow bill. Also called merle1.
  • n. Australian A South Sea Islander kidnapped and sold into slavery in Australia; a Kanaka.
  • transitive v. Australian To kidnap (a South Sea Islander) and sell into slavery.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A (common) true thrush, Turdus merula, found in woods and gardens over much of Eurasia, and introduced elsewhere.
  • n. A variety of New World birds of the family Icteridae (26 species of icterid bird).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. In England, a species of thrush (Turdus merula), a singing bird with a fin note; the merle. In America the name is given to several birds, as the Quiscalus versicolor, or crow blackbird; the Agelæus phœniceus, or red-winged blackbird; the cowbird; the rusty grackle, etc. See redwing.
  • n. Among slavers and pirates, a negro or Polynesian.
  • n. A native of any of the islands near Queensland; -- called also Kanaka.
  • intransitive v. to engage in the slave trade.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The English name of a species of thrush, Merula merula, Turdus merula, or Merula vulgaris, common throughout Europe.
  • n. In America, a bird of the family Icteridæ (which see).
  • n. In the West Indies, the ani, Crotophaga ani, of the family Cuculidæ, or cuckoos; the savanna-blackbird. See cut under ani.
  • n. A cant term on the coast of Africa for a slave.
  • n. A native of the islands of Torres Strait.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. common black European thrush
  • n. any bird of the family Icteridae whose male is black or predominantly black

Etymologies

From black +‎ bird. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Bye-bye

    May 6, 2012

  • Do we have any lists of terms related to slavery?

    October 26, 2011

  • That's funny, harmonygritz.

    October 25, 2011

  • The crossword clue was crow. My first guess was brag about, which has several letters in the same place as the correct answer, blackbird.

    October 25, 2011

  • "Blackbird" is the name of a Paul McCartney song that guitar players like for its challenging but satisfying guitar part.

    December 21, 2009

  • Nickname for the SR-71.

    Affectionately called "Habu" (cobra ? snake) or "The Sled" by the 90-odd pilots who flew the 40 of them made.

    May 2, 2008