[awr-ee-ohl, ohr-]


any of several usually brightly colored, passerine birds of the family Oriolidae, of the Old World.Compare golden oriole.
any of several brightly colored passerine birds of the family Icteridae, of the New World.

Origin of oriole

1770–80; < French oriol, Old French < Medieval Latin oriolus, variant of Latin aureolus golden, equivalent to aure(us) golden (derivative of aurum gold) + -olus -ole1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for oriole

Contemporary Examples of oriole

Historical Examples of oriole

  • She could hear the oriole singing in the elm; his song was almost articulate.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • So the hornet is now an oriole, a bird that is loved by every one.

    The Book of Nature Myths

    Florence Holbrook

  • Why does the beaver build his dam, and the oriole hang her nest?

    The Mind and Its Education

    George Herbert Betts

  • "All men who enter the forest are," answered the oriole, positively.

    Policeman Bluejay

    L. Frank Baum

  • The parents had nothing like the work of the robin, oriole, or blue jay.

    A Bird-Lover in the West

    Olive Thorne Miller

British Dictionary definitions for oriole



any songbird of the mainly tropical Old World family Oriolidae, such as Oriolus oriolus (golden oriole), having a long pointed bill and a mostly yellow-and-black plumage
any American songbird of the family Icteridae, esp those of the genus Icterus, such as the Baltimore oriole, with a typical male plumage of black with either orange or yellow

Word Origin for oriole

C18: from Medieval Latin oryolus, from Latin aureolus, diminutive of aureus, from aurum gold
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 oriole

1776, from French oriol "golden oriole," Old Provençal auriol, from Medieval Latin oryolus, from Latin aureolus "golden," from PIE *aus- "gold" (see aureate). Originally in reference to the golden oriole (Oriolus galbula), a bird of black and yellow plumage that summers in Europe (but is uncommon in England). Applied from 1791 to the unrelated but similarly colored North American species Icterus baltimore.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper