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[mey-vis] /ˈmeɪ vɪs/
noun, British (chiefly Literary) .
a song thrush.
Origin of mavis
1350-1400; Middle English mavys < Anglo-French mauviz, probably equivalent to ma(u)ve seagull (< Old English mæw mew2) + -iz of unclear orig.


[mey-vis] /ˈmeɪ vɪs/
a female given name. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mavis
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The second engineer of the steamer mavis, for instance, ought to have been his twin brother.

    A Personal Record Joseph Conrad
  • What Canadian birds could be substituted for the mavis and the cuckoo?

    Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Literature Ontario Ministry of Education
  • “Indeed there are and quite delicious”—Mrs. mavis largely wiped her mouth.

    The Patagonia Henry James
  • Of course in such a case she, Mrs. mavis, had had to fly round.

    The Patagonia Henry James
  • A chilling thought struck him: was this what happened to the crew of the mavis?

    The Judas Valley Gerald Vance
British Dictionary definitions for mavis


a popular name for the song thrush
Word Origin
C14: from Old French mauvis thrush; origin obscure
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 mavis

"song thrush," c.1400, mavys, from Old French mauvis, of unknown origin; related to Spanish malvis. Breton milfid is a French loan word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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