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

  • n. Any of various small New World passerine birds of the family Thraupidae, often having brightly colored plumage in the males and usually living in forests.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several American passerine birds, of the family Thraupidae, that inhabit forests.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any one of numerous species of bright-colored singing birds belonging to Tanagra, Piranga, and allied genera. The scarlet tanager (Piranga erythromelas) and the summer redbird (Piranga rubra) are common species of the United States.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Some or any tanagrine bird; a member of the Tanagridæ.
  • n. Any finch of the genus Paroaria.

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

  • n. any of numerous New World woodland birds having brightly colored males


New Latin tanagra, alteration of Portuguese tangará, from Tupi tanagorá.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From New Latin Tanagra, from Portuguese tangara, from Old Tupi tangara. (Wiktionary)



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  • Thanks, fbharjo! You inspire your own raptor rapture.

    May 17, 2010

  • Ruzuzu is very perceptive. I made the comment about the tanager because it struck me as both exotic (literally means from a foreign country) and after noting the twitters on wordnik's tanager page with several twits from the same locale I'm in - Albuquerque. We are the ones from a foreign locale, not the tanager. We don't fully undastand - unda is latin for wave - the repercussions of these new communication tools we are using. Its heartening to have fellow peregrines such as Ruzuzu and Bilby to point out these ripples. It is wren-ching.

    May 17, 2010

  • The spike in the usage in 1880 may be associated with the opening of the railroads in the Western United States and elsewhere. These birds with their flashiness might have caused a spike in usage as they were more noticed than before as railroads traveled into their habitats....just a conjecture

    May 17, 2010

  • What's with the spike in tanager use around 1880?

    May 17, 2010

  • That's the sort of event which is worthy of a like button. Not sure how it would fit into Facebook's marketing strategy, but I'm sure they'll find a way.

    May 17, 2010

  • a western tanager flew by our breakfast table this morning. exquisite coloring!

    May 17, 2010