[ nahyt-jahr ]
/ ˈnaɪtˌdʒɑr /


a nocturnal European bird, Caprimulgus europaeus, of the family Caprimulgidae, having a short bill and a wide mouth and feeding on insects captured in the air.
Also called goatsucker. any other nocturnal or crepuscular bird of the family Caprimulgidae.

Origin of nightjar

1620–30; night + jar2 (from its harsh cry) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for nightjar

British Dictionary definitions for nightjar

/ (ˈnaɪtˌdʒɑː) /


any nocturnal bird of the family Caprimulgidae, esp Caprimulgus europaeus (European nightjar): order Caprimulgiformes. They have a cryptic plumage and large eyes and feed on insects

Word Origin for nightjar

C17: night + jar ², so called from its discordant cry
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