Definitions

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

  • n. Any of various American flycatchers of the genus Tyrannus, especially T. tyrannus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A group of large insectivorous passerine birds of the genus Tyrannus.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small American bird (Tyrannus tyrannus, or Tyrannus Carolinensis), noted for its courage in attacking larger birds, even hawks and eagles, especially when they approach its nest in the breeding season. It is a typical tyrant flycatcher, taking various insects upon the wing. It is dark ash above, and blackish on the bead and tail. The quills and wing coverts are whitish at the edges. It is white beneath, with a white terminal band on the tail. The feathers on the head of the adults show a bright orange basal spot when erected. Called also bee bird, and bee martin. Several Southern and Western species of Tyrannus are also called king birds.
  • n. The king tody. See under King.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A tyrant flycatcher, Tyrannus carolinensis, abundant in the United States (also called bee-martin), or some other species of the same genus, as the gray kingbird, Tyrannus dominicensis.
  • n. Any bird of the family Tyrannidæ; any tyrant flycatcher.

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

  • n. large American flycatcher

Etymologies

king +‎ bird (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The kingbird is the best dressed member of the family, but he is a braggart; and, though always snubbing his neighbors, is an arrant coward, and shows the white feather at the slightest display of pluck in his antagonist.

    In the Catskills Selections from the Writings of John Burroughs

  • I saw a kingbird on a telephone wire as I pedaled out and a redwinged blackbird as I rode back.

    One for the birds

  • Mid morning, my first eastern kingbird of the season perched on a piece of driftwood behind me and made his presence known.

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • Each puddle seemed to be functioning as a bird bath, with a different species in each puddle: gray catbird, eastern kingbird, brown thrasher, common grackle, American goldfinch, American robin, several species of sparrow.

    bird baths in the road and other anomalies

  • Later on I watch a piping plover harassing and attacking a common grackle and then an eastern kingbird.

    partly cloudy or partly sunny

  • I have observed mockingbirds terrorize even larger groups of starlings, so I have no doubt that a kingbird could do it, too.

    an interesting sight

  • Saw my first eastern kingbird of the season on Sunday at Colt State Park in Bristol, RI.

    Archive 2008-05-01

  • The flycatchers and vireos now appear in force -- little hunters of insects clad in leafy greens and browns, with now and then a touch of brightness -- as in the yellow-throated vireo or in the crest of the kingbird.

    The Log of the Sun A Chronicle of Nature's Year

  • The kingbird builds an untidy nest in an apple tree.

    The Log of the Sun A Chronicle of Nature's Year

  • The flycatchers are well represented in the Park, there being no fewer than five species; the least flycatcher, wood pewee, phoebe, crested flycatcher, and kingbird.

    The Log of the Sun A Chronicle of Nature's Year

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