- a common European thrush, Turdus merula, the male of which is black with a yellow bill.
- any of several American birds of the family Icteridae, having black plumage.Compare crow blackbird, red-winged blackbird, rusty blackbird.
- any of several other unrelated birds having black plumage in either or both sexes.
- (formerly) a person, especially a Kanaka, who was kidnapped and sold abroad, usually in Australia, as a slave.
- to kidnap (a person), as in blackbirding.
- to engage in blackbirding.
Origin of blackbird
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for blackbird
Today Black is a senior vice president for Blackbird Technologies, a Virginia based security contractor.Meet Mitt Romney’s Trusted Envoy to the Dark Side, Cofer Black
April 11, 2012
If the recovery agency is shut down, Blackbird would likely pick up the rescue business as it is outsourced.
Blackbird is run by CEO Peggy Styer, an investor once labeled a "serial defense entrepreneur" by CNN.
The day after, the second of June, I listen to the blackbird.My Gaza Flotilla Diary
June 4, 2010
A note of exultation in his laugh, like that in a blackbird's call, alone proclaimed it.Viviette
William J. Locke
Yet the blackbird is older even than I. Go listen to her story.Welsh Fairy Tales
William Elliott Griffis
However, when you can't get a thrush, eat a blackbird, as the proverb says.A Comedy of Marriage and Other Tales
Guy De Maupassant
No amount of hushing has any effect; you might just as well hush a blackbird or a thrush.Jan and Her Job
L. Allen Harker
That'll spake to you like the blackbird's whistle, as the saying is.The Manxman
- a common European thrush, Turdus merula, in which the male has a black plumage and yellow bill and the female is brown
- any of various American orioles having a dark plumage, esp any of the genus Agelaius
- history a person, esp a South Sea Islander, who was kidnapped and sold as a slave, esp in Australia
- (tr) (formerly) to kidnap and sell into slavery
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
Word Origin and History for blackbird
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper