See under magpie(def 1).
Origin of black-billed magpie
An Americanism dating back to 1865–70
Definition for black-billed magpie (2 of 2)
[ mag-pahy ]
/ ˈmægˌpaɪ /
either of two corvine birds, Pica pica (black-billed magpie), of Eurasia and North America, or P. nuttalli (yellow-billed magpie), of California, having long, graduated tails, black-and-white plumage, and noisy, mischievous habits.
any of several related corvine birds.
any of several black-and-white birds not related to the true magpies, as Gymnorhina tibicen, of Australia.
an incessantly talkative person; noisy chatterer; chatterbox.
a person who collects or hoards things, especially indiscriminately.
Western U.S. a black-and-white cow or steer, as a Holstein.
Origin of magpie
1595–1605; Mag Margaret + pie2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for black-billed magpie
/ (ˈmæɡˌpaɪ) /
any of various passerine birds of the genus Pica, esp P. pica, having a black-and-white plumage, long tail, and a chattering call: family Corvidae (crows, etc)
any of various similar birds of the Australian family CracticidaeSee also butcherbird (def. 2)
any of various other similar or related birds
(often capital) a variety of domestic fancy pigeon typically having black-and-white markings
British a person who hoards small objects
a person who chatters
- the outmost ring but one on a target
- a shot that hits this ring
Word Origin for magpie
C17: from Mag diminutive of Margaret, used to signify a chatterbox + pie ²
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