nightjar

[ nahyt-jahr ]
/ ˈnaɪtˌdʒɑr /
|

noun

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)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for nightjar

nightjar

/ (ˈnaɪtˌdʒɑː) /

noun

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

Word Origin and History for nightjar

nightjar


n.

nocturnal bird, goatsucker, 1620s, from night + jar (v.). So called for the "jarring" sounds made by the male when the female is brooding, which have been described as a "churring trill that seems to change direction as it rises and falls." An Old English word for it was nihthræfn "night raven."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper