from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. See blackbird.
- adj. Having a reddish or bluish gray coat streaked or speckled with black. Used of certain dogs.
- n. A dog with a merle coat.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The European blackbird Turdus merula; any blackbird.
- n. A type of mottled colouration on dogs.
Middle English, from Old French, from Latin merulus, merula.
Perhaps from merle1.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the taxonomic name; from Latin turdus ("thrush") and merula ("blackbird"), giving rise to the French merle. (Wiktionary)