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merle1

or merl

[murl]
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noun Chiefly Scot.
  1. the blackbird, Turdus merula.
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Origin of merle1

1350–1400; Middle English merule < Middle French < Latin merulus, merula ousel, blackbird

merle2

[murl]
noun
  1. a bluish gray color mottled with black.
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adjective
  1. being the color merle.
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Origin of merle2

First recorded in 1900–05; origin uncertain

Merle

[murl]
noun
  1. a male or female given name.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for merle

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • But suddenly, when they were still some way from the town, Merle stopped and pointed.

    The Great Hunger

    Johan Bojer

  • Merle was in the pantry, with a big apron on, ranging jars of preserves on the shelves.

    The Great Hunger

    Johan Bojer

  • Actually remembered my existence, after all, did you, Merle?

    The Great Hunger

    Johan Bojer

  • Merle sang and yodelled as they went; then Peer sang, and then they all three sang together.

    The Great Hunger

    Johan Bojer

  • Until at last Merle rose and said: "Now, mother, it's time you went to bed."

    The Great Hunger

    Johan Bojer


British Dictionary definitions for merle

merle1

merl

noun
  1. Scot another name for the (European) blackbird
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Word Origin

C15: via Old French from Latin merula

merle2

adjective
  1. (of a dog, esp a collie) having a bluish-grey coat with speckles or streaks of blackOften called: blue merle
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Word Origin

C20: from dialect mirlet, mirly speckled
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 merle

n.

"blackbird," late 15c., from Old French merle "blackbird" (12c.), from Latin merulus "blackbird," from PIE *ams- "black, blackbird" (cf. Old English osle "blackbird;" see ouzel). The word owes its survival in modern times to its use by Scottish poets. The Latin word shows effects of rhotacism. It also is the source of Provençal and Spanish merla, Portuguese merlo, and Italian merla. Borrowed from French are Middle Dutch and German merle, Dutch meerle.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper