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[awr-ee-ohl, ohr-] /ˈɔr iˌoʊl, ˈoʊr-/
any of several usually brightly colored, passerine birds of the family Oriolidae, of the Old World.
Compare golden oriole.
any of several brightly colored passerine birds of the family Icteridae, of the New World.
Origin of oriole
1770-80; < French oriol, Old French < Medieval Latin oriolus, variant of Latin aureolus golden, equivalent to aure(us) golden (derivative of aurum gold) + -olus -ole1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for oriole
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Cardinal, oriole, tawny thrush and gold-finch seemed to vie with each other in pouring forth the sweetest melody.

    Bee and Butterfly Lucy Foster Madison
  • The nest of nests, the ideal nest, is unquestionably that of the Baltimore oriole.

  • An oriole burst into melody, swinging in the great snowball bush near the Willow Street fence.

  • It is a bird of the same size as the Indian oriole (Oriolus kundoo).

  • The oriole lays from two to four white eggs spotted with dull red.

  • She could hear the oriole singing in the elm; his song was almost articulate.

    Meadow Grass Alice Brown
  • An oriole darted in one arcade and out again with a musical whir of wings.

    The Flying Mercury Eleanor M. Ingram
  • So the hornet is now an oriole, a bird that is loved by every one.

    The Book of Nature Myths Florence Holbrook
  • Tell me the story of the oriole, whose mate this year is not the old.

    The Grey Cloak Harold MacGrath
British Dictionary definitions for oriole


any songbird of the mainly tropical Old World family Oriolidae, such as Oriolus oriolus (golden oriole), having a long pointed bill and a mostly yellow-and-black plumage
any American songbird of the family Icteridae, esp those of the genus Icterus, such as the Baltimore oriole, with a typical male plumage of black with either orange or yellow
Word Origin
C18: from Medieval Latin oryolus, from Latin aureolus, diminutive of aureus, from aurum gold
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 oriole

1776, from French oriol "golden oriole," Old Provençal auriol, from Medieval Latin oryolus, from Latin aureolus "golden," from PIE *aus- "gold" (see aureate). Originally in reference to the golden oriole (Oriolus galbula), a bird of black and yellow plumage that summers in Europe (but is uncommon in England). Applied from 1791 to the unrelated but similarly colored North American species Icterus baltimore.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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