- See under robin(def 3).
- any of several small Old World birds having a red or reddish breast, especially Erithacus rubecula, of Europe.
- a large American thrush, Turdus migratorius, having a chestnut-red breast and abdomen.
- any of several similar thrushes of the New World tropics, not necessarily having reddish underparts, as T. grayi (clay-colored robin), of Mexico and Central America.
Origin of robin
First recorded in 1540–50; short for robin redbreast
Also called robin redbreast (for defs 1, 2).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- Also called: robin redbreast a small Old World songbird, Erithacus rubecula, related to the thrushes: family Muscicapidae . The male has a brown back, orange-red breast and face, and grey underparts
- a North American thrush, Turdus migratorius, similar to but larger than the Old World robin
- any of various similar birds having a reddish breast
C16: arbitrary use of given name
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 clay-colored robin
masc. proper name, from Old French Robin, diminutive of Robert (q.v.). Robin Goodfellow "sportive elf of the English countryside," is first attested 1530s, popular 16-17c.; Robin Hood is at least from late 14c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper