[ blak-burd ]
/ ˈblækˌbɜrd /


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.

verb (used with object)

to kidnap (a person), as in blackbirding.

verb (used without object)

to engage in blackbirding.

Origin of blackbird

1480–90; earlier blacke bride. See black, bird Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for blackbird

British Dictionary definitions for blackbird

/ (ˈblækˌbɜːd) /


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