[burd-uh v-par-uh-dahys, -dahyz]

noun, plural birds-of-paradise.

Also called bird-of-paradise flower. any of several plants of the genus Strelitzia, native to southern Africa, especially S. reginae, having a large, showy orange and blue inflorescence.
a small tree or shrub, Caesalpinia (Poinciana) gilliesii, native to South America, having featherlike leaves and showy yellow flowers with red stamens.

Origin of bird-of-paradise

First recorded in 1880–85

bird of paradise


any of several passerine birds of the family Paradisaeidae, of New Guinea and adjacent islands, the males of which have ornate, colorful plumage.

Origin of bird of paradise

First recorded in 1600–10

Bird of Paradise

noun Astronomy.

the constellation Apus.

Origin of Bird of Paradise

First recorded in 1650–60 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bird-of-paradise

Historical Examples of bird-of-paradise

  • So does Mrs. Buscarlet, who is radiant in pink satin and a bird-of-paradise as a crown.

    Molly Bawn

    Margaret Wolfe Hamilton

  • He fastens them on to cards—he's got a bird-of-Paradise plume, an awful beauty.

    A Christmas Child

    Mrs. Molesworth

  • They were profoundly flattered by the visit of this Bird-of-paradise.

    The Roll-Call

    Arnold Bennett

  • He might as soon have expected a bird-of-paradise to live by choice in a coal-bunker.

    Gordon Keith

    Thomas Nelson Page

  • Even beauty paled before the lovely female voice singing in the middle of the note—the nightingale killed the bird-of-paradise.


    George Du Maurier

British Dictionary definitions for bird-of-paradise

bird of paradise


any songbird of the family Paradisaeidae of New Guinea and neighbouring regions, the males of which have brilliantly coloured ornate plumage
bird-of-paradise flower any of various banana-like plants of the genus Strelitzia, esp S. reginae, that are native to tropical southern Africa and South America and have purple bracts and large orange or yellow flowers resembling birds' heads: family Strelitziaceae
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