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Wrens

[renz] /rɛnz/
noun, (used with a singular or plural verb) Chiefly British Informal.
1.
the Women's Royal Naval Service: established in 1917 as an auxiliary to the Royal Navy.
Origin of Wrens
pronounced form of the initial letters, with placement of vowel suggested by wren

wren

[ren] /rɛn/
noun
1.
any of numerous small, active songbirds of the family Troglodytidae, especially Troglodytes troglodytes, of the Northern Hemisphere, having dark-brown plumage barred with black and a short, upright tail.
2.
any of various similar, unrelated birds, especially any of several Old World warblers.
Origin
before 900; Middle English wrenn(e), Old English wrenna, obscurely akin to Old High German wrendilo, Old Norse rindill

Wren1

[ren] /rɛn/
noun, (sometimes lowercase) Chiefly British Informal.
1.
a member of the Wrens.
Origin
First recorded in 1915-20

Wren2

[ren] /rɛn/
noun
1.
Sir Christopher, 1632–1723, English architect.
2.
Percival Christopher, 1885–1941, English novelist.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Wrens
Historical Examples
  • Wrens and sparrows are not too ignoble a quarry for this villainous gos-hawk!

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • In fact, he wrote almost as much about the habits of trout as about Wrens.

    Jan and Her Job L. Allen Harker
  • Jan went out into the Wrens' garden and through Anthony's gate.

    Jan and Her Job L. Allen Harker
  • On his last morning he sought and found her beside the sun-dial in the Wrens' garden.

    Jan and Her Job L. Allen Harker
  • The Wrens were not afraid, but they were so small he could not hit them.

  • Had ever a pair of Wrens quarters so ample,—a whole cottage to themselves?

    A Bird-Lover in the West Olive Thorne Miller
  • The Wrens fluffed themselves, scolded it, and told it to get up.

    Greyfriars Bobby Eleanor Atkinson
  • Watch the Wrens returning to the nest; what do they carry to their young?

    Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Nature Study Ontario Ministry of Education
  • The boxes for bluebirds and Wrens should be smaller and have only one compartment.

    Bird Day; How to prepare for it Charles Almanzo Babcock
  • But the chief singers were the olive-backed thrushes and the winter Wrens.

    Birds in the Bush

    Bradford Torrey
British Dictionary definitions for Wrens

wren

/rɛn/
noun
1.
any small brown passerine songbird of the chiefly American family Troglodytidae, esp Troglodytes troglodytes (wren in Britain, winter wren in the US and Canada). They have a slender bill and feed on insects
2.
any of various similar birds of the families Muscicapidae (Australian warblers), Xenicidae (New Zealand wrens), etc
Word Origin
Old English wrenna, werna; related to Old High German wrendo, rentilo, Old Norse rindill

Wren1

/rɛn/
noun
1.
(history, informal) (in Britain and certain other nations) a member of the former Women's Royal Naval Service
Word Origin
C20: from the abbreviation WRNS

Wren2

/rɛn/
noun
1.
Sir Christopher. 1632–1723, English architect. He designed St Paul's Cathedral and over 50 other London churches after the Great Fire as well as many secular buildings
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 Wrens

wren

n.

Old English wrenna, metathesis variation of earlier werna, a West Germanic word of uncertain origin. Cf. Icelandic rindill, Old High German wrendo, wrendilo "wren." The bird's name in other languages usually denotes "royalty" (cf. Latin regulus), in reference to its golden crest.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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