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cowbird

[kou-burd]
See more synonyms for cowbird on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. any of several New World blackbirds of the genus Molothrus, especially M. ater, of North America, that accompany herds of cattle.
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Origin of cowbird

An Americanism dating back to 1795–1805; cow1 + bird
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cowbird

Historical Examples

  • The cowbird's tactics are probably to watch the movements of the parent bird.

    Bird Stories from Burroughs

    John Burroughs

  • Every cowbird is reared at the expense of two or more song-birds.

  • One of these is called the Argentine cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis).

    Our Bird Comrades

    Leander S. (Leander Sylvester) Keyser

  • Despite this fact the Cowbird's eggs are often first to hatch.

    The Bird Study Book

    Thomas Gilbert Pearson

  • It is little wonder that discerning people are not fond of the Cowbird.

    The Bird Study Book

    Thomas Gilbert Pearson


British Dictionary definitions for cowbird

cowbird

noun
  1. any of various American orioles of the genera Molothrus, Tangavius, etc, esp M. ater (common or brown-headed cowbird). They have a dark plumage and short bill
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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