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[churp] /tʃɜrp/
verb (used without object)
to make a characteristic short, sharp sound, as small birds and certain insects.
to make any similar sound:
The children chirped with amusement.
verb (used with object)
to sound or utter in a chirping manner:
The little girl chirped her joy.
a chirping sound.
Origin of chirp
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English chyrpynge (gerund); expressive word akin to cheep, chirk, etc.
Related forms
chirper, noun
chirpingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for chirp
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Silence, broken only by the chirp of the cheery little teakettle.

    Four Girls and a Compact Annie Hamilton Donnell
  • Let us forget for a moment the chirp of the family housekeeper over her gods.

    Holbein Beatrice Fortescue
  • If you chirp, I'll have to blow the roof of your head off, Gage!

    Frank Merriwell Down South Burt L. Standish
  • Sparrows begin to chirp, first one, then ten, then thousands.

    The Dragon Painter

    Mary McNeil Fenollosa
  • All around him was the chirp and bustle of unseen bird and animal life.

    The Status Civilization Robert Sheckley
  • Lacy said she hadn't heard Uncle Joe chirp since he was baptized.

    Watch Yourself Go By Al. G. Field
  • "I will," cried the little fairy, in a voice as clear as the chirp of a cricket.


    Frank Richard Stockton
  • When it began to chirp faintly, he listened as if it were a beautiful sound.

    My Antonia Willa Cather
  • One by one they were moving, staggering to their feet, beginning to chirp.

    The Chestermarke Instinct J. S. Fletcher
British Dictionary definitions for chirp


verb (intransitive)
(esp of some birds and insects) to make a short high-pitched sound
to speak in a lively fashion
a chirping sound, esp that made by a bird
Derived Forms
chirper, noun
Word Origin
C15 (as chirpinge, gerund): of imitative origin


noun acronym
Confidential Human Incidents Reporting Programme: a system, run by the RAF Institute of Medicine, by which commercial pilots can comment on safety trends without the knowledge of their employers
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for chirp

mid-15c. (implied in chirping), echoic, or else a variant of Middle English chirken "to twitter" (late 14c.), from Old English cearcian "to creak, gnash." Related: Chirped. As a noun, attested from 1802.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for chirp



  1. To sing: She chirps with the orchestra (1930+)
  2. To inform; sing, squeal (1830s+ Underworld)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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