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[tan-uh-jer] /ˈtæn ə dʒər/
any of numerous songbirds of the New World family Thraupidae, the males of which are usually brightly colored.
Origin of tanager
1605-15; < New Latin tanagra, metathetic variant of Tupi tangara Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tanager
Historical Examples
  • The tanager himself wears his gay dress only during the nesting season, that is, spring and summer.

    The Children's Book of Birds Olive Thorne Miller
  • If it tried, say, the tanager's, would we believe and accept it?

    Wild Life Near Home Dallas Lore Sharp
  • Justine laughed, tilting her head back to catch a last glimpse of the tanager.

    The Fruit of the Tree Edith Wharton
  • tanager is uniformed first for conquest, then for guard duty.

  • We trust that the tanager will improve as time goes on; but in any case we are largely in his debt.

    Birds in the Bush Bradford Torrey
  • There is pride in the song of the tanager, and vanity in that of the catbird.

    Locusts and Wild Honey John Burroughs
  • A tanager or a Cardinal makes a point of glowing beauty in the green woods, and the Cardinal among the white snows.

  • Silence again, while a tanager called his agitated "chip-chur!"

    Upon The Tree-Tops Olive Thorne Miller
  • They are rather rare, as are also the Louisiana tanager, most gorgeous of all the Tahoe birds, and the black-headed grosbeak.

    The Lake of the Sky George Wharton James
  • Meanwhile Mrs. tanager was flying about in the tree tops near at hand and calling anxiously.

British Dictionary definitions for tanager


any American songbird of the family Thraupidae, having a short thick bill and a brilliantly coloured male plumage
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin tanagra, based on Tupi tangara
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 tanager

small American oscine bird, 1844, from Modern Latin tanagra, named 1758 by Linnaeus, alteration of Portuguese tangara, from Tupi (Brazil) tangara.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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