seen from above, as by a bird in flight; panoramic: a bird's-eye view of the city.
omitting many details; hasty; superficial; general: a bird's-eye view of ancient history.
having spots or markings resembling the eyes of a bird: bird's-eye tweed.

noun, plural bird's-eyes.

any of various plants having small, round, bright-colored flowers, as a primrose, Primula farinosa, or a speedwell, Veronica chamaedrys.
  1. a woven, allover pattern on fabrics, characterized chiefly by small diamond shapes resembling the eyes of a bird.
  2. a fabric having this pattern, especially a cotton used for diapers or a linen used for toweling.

Origin of bird's-eye

First recorded in 1590–1600; bird + 's1 + eye Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for bird's-eye



  1. seen or photographed from high above
  2. summarizing the main points of a topic; summary (esp in the phrase bird's-eye view)
having markings resembling birds' eyes


bird's-eye primrose a Eurasian primrose, Primula farinosa, having clusters of purplish flowers with yellow centres
bird's-eye speedwell the usual US name for germander speedwell
any of several other plants having flowers of two contrasting colours
a pattern in linen and cotton fabrics, made up of small diamond shapes with a dot in the centre of each
a linen or cotton fabric with such a pattern
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