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

  • n. Any of various swallows, such as the house martin or the purple martin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various passerine birds of the family Hirundinidae, which also includes swallows, that catch insects whilst flying.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A perforated stone-faced runner for grinding.
  • n. One of several species of swallows, usually having the tail less deeply forked than the tail of the common swallows.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. An obsolete spelling of marten.
  • n. Any swallow of the family Hirundinidæ; a martinet; a martlet.
  • n. An ape.
  • n. See the quotation.
  • n. A tool for grinding or polishing stone.
  • n. A shortened form of freemartin.

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

  • n. United States actor and comedian (born in 1945)
  • n. French bishop who is a patron saint of France (died in 397)
  • n. any of various swallows with squarish or slightly forked tail and long pointed wings; migrate around Martinmas
  • n. United States actress (1913-1990)
  • n. United States singer (1917-1995)


Middle English martoune, probably from the name Martin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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  • "Abraham, Martin and John" sung by Dion, and the old folk song "Martin's Rattler."

    February 9, 2008