Definitions

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

  • noun Any of various birds of the family Corvidae having a long tail and black, blue, or green plumage with white markings, and noted for their chattering call, especially Pica hudsonia, of western North America, and P. pica, of Eurasia and Africa.
  • noun Any of various birds that resemble the magpie.
  • noun A person who chatters.
  • noun One who compulsively collects or hoards small objects.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A breed of small domesticated pigeons having the head, the under side of the body, and the long flight-feathers white, and the rest of the plumage clear black, red, yellow, or blue: the line between the two colors should be sharply defined. The name is derived from the suggestion of a magpie found in the black-and-white variety.
  • noun A black-and-white costume for women in which the contrasts are very marked, the masses of color being large.
  • noun A well-known bird of Europe, Asia, and America, of the genus Pica and family Corvidœ; the Pica pica, P. rustica, P. caudata, or P. hudsonica.
  • noun The magpie-shrike.
  • noun A halfpenny.
  • noun A bishop: so called from the black and white of his robes.
  • noun Among British marksmen, a shot striking that division of the target which is next to the outermost when the target is divided into four sections: so called because the markers indicate this hit by means of a black and white disk.

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

  • noun (Zoöl.) Any one of numerous species of the genus Pica and related genera, allied to the jays, but having a long graduated tail.
  • noun Any one of several black-and-white birds, such as Gymnorhina tibicen, not belonging to the genus Pica.
  • noun A talkative person; a chatterbox.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a common Australian bird (Grallina picata), conspicuously marked with black and white; -- called also little magpie.
  • noun (Zoöl.) a black and white European geometrid moth (Abraxas grossulariata); the harlequin moth. Its larva feeds on currant and gooseberry bushes.

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

  • noun One of several kinds of bird in the family Corvidae, especially Pica pica.
  • noun A superficially similar Australian bird, Gymnorhina tibicen.
  • noun Someone who displays a magpie-like quality such as collecting, or committing robbery.
  • noun slang Fan or member of Newcastle United F.C.

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

  • noun long-tailed black-and-white crow that utters a raucous chattering call
  • noun someone who collects things that have been discarded by others
  • noun an obnoxious and foolish and loquacious talker

Etymologies

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

[Mag, a name used in proverbs about chatterers (a nickname for Margaret) + pie.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Mag, a nickname for Margaret that was used to denote a chatterer, and pie, an archaic word meaning "magpie", from Old French pie, from Latin pica, from Proto-Indo-European *(s)peik- (“woodpecker, magpie”).

Examples

  • And I've written now five new life poems, and I'm going to read you one of what I call magpie translations, because the magpie is a thief, and I'm appropriating Joseph Brodsky's imagery, but making it my own.

    Great Regulars: There's this one poem by Joseph Brodsky,

  • And I've written now five new life poems, and I'm going to read you one of what I call magpie translations, because the magpie is a thief, and I'm appropriating Joseph Brodsky's imagery, but making it my own.

    Archive 2009-10-01

  • Storm teased her over what he termed her magpie mind, which picked up snippets of information to store for future airing.

    The Outrageous Dowager

  • GRANT: The magpie is quiet, so Jess Relton asks a favor.

    Magpie Attacks Have Aussies Ducking

  • She opted to automatically add the tag magpie to identify tweets from advertisers.

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  • Some people are having a hard time dealing with its intimations of bad luck; the magpie is oblivious, its wings fully flung as if about to leap into flight, its beak dark and glittery, unaware it’s an omen of any kind.

    September « 2006 « Squares of Wheat

  • Some people are having a hard time dealing with its intimations of bad luck; the magpie is oblivious, its wings fully flung as if about to leap into flight, its beak dark and glittery, unaware it’s an omen of any kind.

    Please pay attention motherfucker « Squares of Wheat

  • A magpie is a very talkative and intelligent bird, which is even capable of imitating sounds.

    <i>Rowrrrrrr!</i> Manhattan's Fat Cats Size Up Last Candidates Standing

  • I've started a new Margaret Pie aka magpie as per my take on her from the Charles de lint book Some place to be flying.

    Archive 2006-11-01

  • Rose realized that the woman's name was probably ironic; a magpie was a garrulous bird, but this one spoke only briefly.

    Question Quest

Comments

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  • A pie made from a recipe taken directly from a magazine.

    December 4, 2008