[ burd ]
/ bɜrd /
any warm-blooded vertebrate of the class Aves, having a body covered with feathers, forelimbs modified into wings, scaly legs, a beak, and no teeth, and bearing young in a hard-shelled egg.
a fowl or game bird.
- clay pigeon.
- a shuttlecock.
Slang. a person, especially one having some peculiarity: He's a queer bird.
Informal. an aircraft, spacecraft, or guided missile.
Cookery. a thin piece of meat, poultry, or fish rolled around a stuffing and braised: veal birds.
Southern U.S. (in hunting) a bobwhite.
Chiefly British Slang. a girl or young woman.
Archaic. the young of any fowl.
the bird, Slang.
- disapproval, as of a performance, by hissing, booing, etc.: He got the bird when he came out on stage.
- scoffing or ridicule: He was trying to be serious, but we all gave him the bird.
- an obscene gesture of contempt made by raising the middle finger.
verb (used without object)
to catch or shoot birds.
A Flamboyance Of Flamingos And Other Brilliant Bird Group NamesLet's take flight and review some of the most creative (and surprising) collective nouns of bird species.
The Dictionary Just Got A Little Bigger2013 was an exciting year for the English vocabulary. Some long-simmering terms like twerk bounced into the spotlight, while new coinages (from the trendy cronut and selfie to the serious Obamacare) cemented their place in the English language. As the English language grows and evolves, so must our dictionary. Here are just a few words recently added to Dictionary.com: Google Glass DWT bitcoin binge-watch confusticate …
a little bird, Informal. a secret source of information: A little bird told me that today is your birthday.
bird in the hand, a thing possessed in fact as opposed to a thing about which one speculates: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.Also bird in hand.
birds of a feather, people with interests, opinions, or backgrounds in common: Birds of a feather flock together.
eat like a bird, to eat sparingly: She couldn't understand why she failed to lose weight when she was, as she said, eating like a bird.
for the birds, Slang. useless or worthless; not to be taken seriously: Their opinions on art are for the birds. That pep rally is for the birds.
kill two birds with one stone, to achieve two aims with a single effort: She killed two birds with one stone by shopping and visiting the museum on the same trip.
the birds and the bees, basic information about sex and reproduction: It was time to talk to the boy about the birds and the bees.
Origin of bird
before 900; Middle English byrd, bryd, Old English brid(d) young bird, chick
Related formsbird·less, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for a little bird (1 of 2)
/ (bɜːd) /
nickname of (Charlie) Parker
British Dictionary definitions for a little bird (2 of 2)
/ (bɜːd) /
any warm-blooded egg-laying vertebrate of the class Aves, characterized by a body covering of feathers and forelimbs modified as wings. Birds vary in size between the ostrich and the humming birdRelated adjectives: avian, ornithic
informal a person (usually preceded by a qualifying adjective, as in the phrases rare bird, odd bird, clever bird)
slang, mainly British a girl or young woman, esp one's girlfriend
slang prison or a term in prison (esp in the phrase do bird; shortened from birdlime, rhyming slang for time)
a bird in the hand something definite or certain
the bird has flown informal the person in question has fled or escaped
the birds and the bees euphemistic, or jocular sex and sexual reproduction
birds of a feather people with the same characteristics, ideas, interests, etc
get the bird informal
- to be fired or dismissed
- (esp of a public performer) to be hissed at, booed, or derided
give someone the bird informal to tell someone rudely to depart; scoff at; hiss
kill two birds with one stone to accomplish two things with one action
like a bird without resistance or difficulty
a little bird a (supposedly) unknown informanta little bird told me it was your birthday
for the birds or strictly for the birds informal deserving of disdain or contempt; not important
Derived Formsbirdlike, adjective
Word Origin for bird
Old English bridd, of unknown origin
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
Science definitions for a little bird
[ bûrd ]
Any of numerous warm-blooded, egg-laying vertebrate animals of the class Aves. Birds have wings for forelimbs, a body covered with feathers, a hard bill covering the jaw, and a four-chambered heart.
A Closer Look
It is generally believed that birds are descended from dinosaurs and probably evolved from them during the Jurassic Period. While most paleontologists believe that birds evolved from a small dinosaur called the theropod, which in turn evolved from the thecodont, a reptile from the Triassic Period, other paleontologists believe that birds and dinosaurs both evolved from the thecodont. There are some who even consider the bird to be an actual dinosaur. According to this view, the bird is an avian dinosaur, and the older dinosaur a nonavian dinosaur. Although there are variations of thought on the exact evolution of birds, the similarities between birds and dinosaurs are striking and undeniable. Small meat-eating dinosaurs and primitive birds share about twenty characteristics that neither group shares with any other kind of animal; these include tubular bones, the position of the pelvis, the shape of the shoulder blades, a wishbone-shaped collarbone, and the structure of the eggs. Dinosaurs had scales, and birds have modified scales-their feathers-and scaly feet. Some dinosaurs also may have had feathers; a recently discovered fossil of a small dinosaur indicates that it had a featherlike covering. In fact, some primitive fossil birds and small meat-eating dinosaurs are so similar that it is difficult to tell them apart based on their skeletons alone.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Idioms and Phrases with a little bird (1 of 2)
a little bird
see little bird.
Idioms and Phrases with a little bird (2 of 2)
In addition to the idioms beginning with bird
- bird has flown, the
- bird in the hand
- bird of passage
- birds and the bees, the
- birds of a feather (flock together)
- catbird seat
- early bird catches the worm
- eat like a bird
- for the birds
- free as a bird
- kill two birds with one stone
- little bird told me
- naked as a jaybird
- rare bird
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.