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titmouse

[tit-mous]
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noun, plural tit·mice [tit-mahys] /ˈtɪtˌmaɪs/.
  1. any of numerous, widely distributed, small songbirds of the family Paridae, especially of the genus Parus, having soft, thick plumage and a short, stout, conical bill.

Origin of titmouse

1275–1325; Middle English tit(e)mose (see tit1); mose, Old English māse titmouse; cognate with German Meise titmouse, Old Norse meis- in meisingr kind of bird; modern mouse by folk etymology
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for titmouse

titmouse

noun plural -mice
  1. (usually plural) any small active songbird of the family Paridae, esp those of the genus ParusSee tit 1

Word Origin

C14 titemous, from tite (see tit 1) + mouse
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

Word Origin and History for titmouse

n.

"small, active bird," early 14c., titmose, from tit (n.2), expressing something small, + Old English mase "titmouse," from Proto-Germanic *maison (cf. Dutch mees, German meise), from adj. *maisa- "little, tiny." Spelling influenced 16c. by unrelated mouse.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper