- any of numerous American finches of the family Emberizinae.Compare chipping sparrow, song sparrow.
- any member of the Old World genus Passer, formerly thought to be closely related to the weaverbirds but now placed in their own family, Passeridae.
- British. the house sparrow.
- any of several other unrelated small birds.Compare Java sparrow, hedge sparrow.
- (initial capital letter) Military. a 12-foot (4-meter), all-weather, radar-guided U.S. air-to-air missile with an 88-pound (40-kg) high-explosive warhead.
Origin of sparrow
Examples from the Web for sparrow
“No eyes are on the sparrow, eyes are on the sparrow / He is singing anyway.”Is Bigger Better for St. Vincent?
December 4, 2014
Before she finished I began to paint, and she resumed the pose, smiling and chattering like a sparrow.Read ‘The King in Yellow,’ the ‘True Detective’ Reference That’s the Key to the Show
Robert W. Chambers
February 20, 2014
A man “in traditional Alpine costume” addresses a group of children while holding a sparrow.The Kaffeehaus Canon
December 31, 2010
I can hear her now warbling her own rendition of "His Eye Is on the Sparrow."Dame Edna Mouths Off
March 17, 2010
Sparrow could have all the money he needed upon the following condition.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
He was not quarrelsome, though, like the sparrow; but peaceful, like the dove.Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit
Surely that sparrow fell not to the ground without the Father's knowledge.Wilfrid Cumbermede
The sparrow can live where the rest of the birds have no possible chance.
But the English sparrow is more adaptable than are the people.
- any weaverbird of the genus Passer and related genera, esp the house sparrow, having a brown or grey plumage and feeding on seeds or insects
- US and Canadian any of various North American finches, such as the chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina), that have a dullish streaked plumage
Word Origin and History for sparrow
small brownish-gray bird, Old English spearwa, from Proto-Germanic *sparwan (cf. Old Norse spörr, Old High German sparo, German Sperling, Gothic sparwa), from PIE *sper- (cf. Cornish frau "crow;" Old Prussian spurglis "sparrow;" Greek spergoulos "small field bird," psar "starling"). Sparrowhawk is attested from c.1400. Sparrowfarts (1886) was Cheshire slang for "very early morning."