from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • An artificial group of passerine birds having slender bills, as the humming birds.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • A very extensive and unnatural assemblage of chiefly passerine or insessorial birds in winch the beak is slender, as creepers, nuthatches, honey-eaters, sun-birds, humming-birds, hoopoes, and many others having little real affinity: correlated with Dentirostres, Conirostres, etc., in some of the older systems, as that of Cuvier. By Blyth (1849) the term was restricted to the swifts and humming-birds.
  • In ornithology, in Sclater's system of 1880, a group of laminiplantar oscine Passeres, nearly conterminous with Sundevall's Cinnyrimorphæ.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • In the conirostres are the perfections which belong to the incessores as an order, with the conspicuous external feature of a comparatively small notch in their bills; in the dentirostres, the notch is strong and toothlike, (hence the name of the tribe) assimilating them to the raptores; the fissirostres come into analogy with the natatores in the slight development of their feet and their great powers of flight; the tenuirostres have the small mouths and long soft bills of the grallatores.

    Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation

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


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