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[sawng-burd, song-] /ˈsɔŋˌbɜrd, ˈsɒŋ-/
a bird that sings.
any passerine bird of the suborder Oscines.
Slang. a woman vocalist.
Origin of songbird
First recorded in 1765-75; song + bird Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for song-bird
Historical Examples
  • Sometimes I do go for a song-bird or a Robin, but only when they come too near my nest.

  • He's not a song-bird, but he's said to be Famed for his beauty and his Symmetry.

    A Phenomenal Fauna Carolyn Wells
  • A song-bird must have a clean beak to chirp with—no false notes!

    A Doll's House Henrik Ibsen
  • White says the golden-crowned wren is not a song-bird in Great Britain.

    Fresh Fields John Burroughs
  • Facing him sat the Milanese song-bird, the singer Antonia Castinelli.

    Foes Mary Johnston
  • If Berthe is my song-bird, it is Caroline who keeps the nest tidy.'

    Mated from the Morgue John Augustus O'Shea
  • But for the musician, particularly for the song-bird, there is the vertigo of instant applause.

    The Paliser case Edgar Saltus
  • I feel that I am getting old, and my song-bird will want a protector.

    Mated from the Morgue John Augustus O'Shea
  • Only far off in the park a song-bird was whistling the high prelude to the evening chorus.

    Wandering Ghosts F. Marion Crawford
  • She dropped her eyes, while he watched the flight of a song-bird as it wheeled about overhead.

    Sandy Alice Hegan Rice
British Dictionary definitions for song-bird


any passerine bird of the suborder Oscines, having highly developed vocal organs and, in most, a musical call related adjective oscine
any bird having a musical call
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 song-bird

1774, from song (n.) + bird (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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