from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An obsolete form of sterling.
  • noun In hydraulic engineering, an inclosure like a coffer-dam, formed of piles driven closely together, before any work or structure as a protection against the wash of the waves.
  • noun One of the piles used in forming such a breakwater.
  • noun An oscine passerine bird, of the family Sturnidæ and genus Sturnus, as S. vulgaris of Europe.
  • noun One of a breed of domestic pigeons which in color resemble the starling.
  • noun Same as rock-trout,2.

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

  • noun (Zoöl.) Any passerine bird belonging to Sturnus and allied genera. The European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) is dark brown or greenish black, with a metallic gloss, and spotted with yellowish white. It is a sociable bird, and builds about houses, old towers, etc. Called also stare, and starred. The pied starling of India is Sternopastor contra.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A California fish; the rock trout.
  • noun A structure of piles driven round the piers of a bridge for protection and support; -- called also sterling.
  • noun (Zoöl.) See Pastor.

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

  • noun A gregarious passerine bird, of the family Sturnidae, having dark, iridescent plumage
  • noun A structure of pilings that protects the piers of a bridge
  • noun A California fish; the rock trout.

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

  • noun gregarious birds native to the Old World


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English stærlinc, from stær ("starling") + -linc ("dimunitive suffix")


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  • From By Hook or By Crook by David Crystal: "It is from Old English, steor + ling, 'spotted'. In the eighteenth century, two men who slept with the same woman were said to be brother-starlings. In the nineteenth century, the police used to refer to someone under surveillance as a starling – a person who had been 'spotted', a 'marked man'." (p 81)

    December 15, 2008