from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A bird, such as the robin, that has a red breast.
- n. A freshwater sunfish (Lepomis auritus) of the eastern United States, having a reddish belly.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any of several unrelated birds that have a red breast; but especially the European robin, Erithacus rubecula.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The European robin.
- n. The American robin. See robin.
- n. The knot, or red-breasted snipe; -- called also robin breast, and robin snipe. See knot.
- n. The long-eared pondfish. See Pondfish.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A small sylviine bird of Europe, Erithacus rubecula; the robin, or robin redbreast. See robin.
- n. The American robin or migratory thrush, Merula migratoria or Turdus migratorius. See robin.
- n. The red-breasted sandpiper, or knot, Tringa canutus. See robin-snipe.
- n. The red-bellied sunfish, Lepomis auritus.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. small Old World songbird with a reddish breast
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Hall – and a fat robin redbreast who was staring at me.
Why am I called redbreast when I do not possess one single red feather? "
When the English, Welsh and Scots settled the Appalachian mountains, they found a familiar plant growing, and used their own familiar name for it, much as they named the red-breasted thrush of North America after their very own robin redbreast.
"Why should I be called redbreast when I am so entirely grey?" asked the bird once again, and waited for our Lord to say -- Ah! my friend, I see that I have forgotten to paint your breast feathers red, but wait a moment and all shall be done.
The melancholy note of the redbreast was the only living sound, as the bird came hopping towards him with its usual air of familiarity and respect.
One day little Luke heard Old John the Indian speak of redbreast as
"Why should I be called redbreast, when I am all grey, from the bill to the very end of my tail?
But when confronted with the redear, redbreast, or longear sunfish, things got a good deal more complicated.
Don't put a redbreast or a spotted sunfish in there, as they are highly territorial, and will kill things just through pure abuse.
"A redbreast flew into the kitchen" describes a visitation from a robin who looks him beadily in the eye – and he allows himself the fanciful relief of seeing the bird as an emissary from the woman from whom he has just parted.