from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of numerous primarily tropical and subtropical birds of the order Psittaciformes, characterized by a short hooked bill, brightly colored plumage, and, in some species, the ability to mimic human speech or other sounds.
  • noun One who imitates the words or actions of another, especially without understanding them.
  • transitive verb To repeat or imitate, especially without understanding.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To say or repeat by rote or not understandingly, like a parrot; repeat mechanically; also, to imitate like a parrot.
  • To chatter as a parrot.
  • To repeat, parrot-like, what one has heard or been taught.
  • noun Any bird of the family Psittacidæ or order Psittaci; a zygodactyl scansorial bird with a cered and hooked bill.
  • noun Hence A mere repeater of the words or actions of another

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) In a general sense, any bird of the order Psittaci.
  • noun (Zoöl.) Any species of Psittacus, Chrysotis, Pionus, and other genera of the family Psittacidæ, as distinguished from the parrakeets, macaws, and lories. They have a short rounded or even tail, and often a naked space on the cheeks. The gray parrot, or jako (Psittacus erithacus) of Africa (see Jako), and the species of Amazon, or green, parrots (Chrysotis) of America, are examples. Many species, as cage birds, readily learn to imitate sounds, and to repeat words and phrases.
  • noun (Zoöl.) the Carolina parrakeet. See Parrakeet.
  • noun (Zoöl.) See Kakapo.
  • noun [Eng. & Scot.] cannel coal; -- so called from the crackling and chattering sound it makes in burning.
  • noun (Chem.) See Scheele's green, under Green, n.
  • noun (Bot.) a suffrutescent plant (Bocconia frutescens) of the Poppy family, native of the warmer parts of America. It has very large, sinuate, pinnatifid leaves, and small, panicled, apetalous flowers.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any fish of the genus Scarus. One species (Scarus Cretensis), found in the Mediterranean, is esteemed by epicures, and was highly prized by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
  • transitive verb To repeat by rote, without understanding, as a parrot.
  • intransitive verb To chatter like a parrot.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A kind of bird, many species of which are colourful and able to mimic human speech.
  • noun A parroter; a person who repeats what was just said.
  • noun archaic A puffin.
  • noun geology, obsolete Channel coal.
  • verb transitive To repeat (exactly what has just been said) without necessarily showing understanding, in the manner of a parrot.

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

  • verb repeat mindlessly
  • noun a copycat who does not understand the words or acts being imitated
  • noun usually brightly colored zygodactyl tropical birds with short hooked beaks and the ability to mimic sounds


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

[Probably from French dialectal Perrot, diminutive of Pierre, Peter.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

First attested in 1525. From Middle French perrot, either a diminutive of Pierre or a shortened form of perroquet. Compare French pierrot and Occitan parrat. A number of origins have been suggested for perroquet, such as Spanish periquito and Italian parrochetto. The relationship between these various words is disputed. Replaced earlier popinjay.


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  • As in the dead variety.

    June 27, 2007

  • Why dead? Monty Python?

    June 27, 2007

  • Absolutely!

    June 27, 2007

  • Perched in a larch.

    June 27, 2007

  • Good to know. :-)

    The larch. The larch. The larch. Hmm...doesn't work unless there's sound.

    June 27, 2007

  • Doh! I didn't see that this was on your "Words That Remind Me of Monty Python" list, SoG. Apologies.

    June 27, 2007

  • Polly wanna shrubbery?

    June 27, 2007

  • Please sir, a baked dead (it must be dead, indeed) parrot with SPAM, SPAM, potatoes, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, sausage, bacon, SPAM, egg, SPAM and SPAM.

    September 30, 2007

  • "Now treasure is ticklish work; I don't like treasure voyages on any account, and I don't like them above all, when they are secret and when (begging your pardon, Mr. Trelawney) the secret has been told to the parrot."

    "Silver's parrot?" asked the squire.

    "It's a way of speaking," said the captain. "Blabbed, I mean."

    Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island (1883), ch. 9

    February 10, 2019