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nightingale

[nahyt-n-geyl, nahy-ting-]
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noun
  1. any of several small, Old World, migratory birds of the thrush family, especially Luscinia megarhynchos, of Europe, noted for the melodious song of the male, given chiefly at night during the breeding season.
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Origin of nightingale

1200–50; Middle English nightyngale, nasalized variant of nightegale, Old English nihtegale, cognate with German Nachtigall, literally, night singer (compare Old English galan sing; akin to yell)

Nightingale

[nahyt-n-geyl, nahy-ting-]
noun
  1. Florencethe Lady with the Lamp, 1820–1910, English nurse: reformer of hospital conditions and procedures; reorganizer of nurse's training programs.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

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British Dictionary definitions for nightingale

nightingale

noun
  1. a brownish European songbird, Luscinia megarhynchos, with a broad reddish-brown tail: well known for its musical song, usually heard at night
  2. any of various similar or related birds, such as Luscinia luscinia (thrush nightingale)
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Word Origin

Old English nihtegale, literally: night-singer, from night + galan to sing

Nightingale

noun
  1. Florence, known as the Lady with the Lamp. 1820–1910, English nurse, famous for her work during the Crimean War. She helped to raise the status and quality of the nursing profession and founded a training school for nurses in London (1860)
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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

Word Origin and History for nightingale

n.

Old English næctigalæ, nihtegale, compound formed in Proto-Germanic (cf. Dutch nachtegaal, German Nachtigall) from *nakht- "night" (see night) + *galon "to sing," related to Old English giellan "yell" (see yell). With parasitic -n- that appeared mid-13c. Dutch nightingale "frog" is attested from 1769. In Japanese, "nightingale floor" is said to be the term for boards that creak when you walk on them.

French rossignol (Old French lousseignol) is, with Spanish ruiseñor, Portuguese rouxinol, Italian rosignuolo, from Vulgar Latin *rosciniola, dissimilated from Latin lusciniola "nightingale," diminutive of luscinia "nightingale."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nightingale in Medicine

Nightingale

(nītn-gāl′)Florence 1820-1910
  1. British nurse who organized (1854) and directed a unit of field nurses during the Crimean War and is considered the founder of modern nursing.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.