[sawng-burd, song-]


a bird that sings.
any passerine bird of the suborder Oscines.
Slang. a woman vocalist.

Origin of songbird

First recorded in 1765–75; song + bird Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for song-bird

Historical Examples of song-bird

  • But for the musician, particularly for the song-bird, there is the vertigo of instant applause.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • He's not a song-bird, but he's said to be Famed for his beauty and his Symmetry.

    A Phenomenal Fauna

    Carolyn Wells

  • Sir Poet, with the rusty coat, Quit mocking of the song-bird's note.

  • White says the golden-crowned wren is not a song-bird in Great Britain.

    Fresh Fields

    John Burroughs

  • If Berthe is my Song-bird, it is Caroline who keeps the nest tidy.'

    Mated from the Morgue

    John Augustus O'Shea

British Dictionary definitions for song-bird



any passerine bird of the suborder Oscines, having highly developed vocal organs and, in most, a musical callRelated adjective: oscine
any bird having a musical call
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 song-bird

1774, from song (n.) + bird (n.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper