• synonyms


  1. any of numerous songbirds of the New World family Thraupidae, the males of which are usually brightly colored.
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Origin of tanager

1605–15; < New Latin tanagra, metathetic variant of Tupi tangara
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tanager

Historical Examples of tanager

  • I stood with a tanager in one hand, a lovely manakin in the other, thinking.

    Nat the Naturalist

    G. Manville Fenn

  • The tanager was always a very shy bird; he did not like to be looked at.

    In Nesting Time

    Olive Thorne Miller

  • I waited only for warm days to set free the tanager, and at last they came.

    In Nesting Time

    Olive Thorne Miller

  • If it tried, say, the tanager's, would we believe and accept it?

    Wild Life Near Home

    Dallas Lore Sharp

  • Tanager is uniformed first for conquest, then for guard duty.

British Dictionary definitions for tanager


  1. any American songbird of the family Thraupidae, having a short thick bill and a brilliantly coloured male plumage
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Word Origin for tanager

C19: from New Latin tanagra, based on Tupi tangara
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 tanager


small American oscine bird, 1844, from Modern Latin tanagra, named 1758 by Linnaeus, alteration of Portuguese tangara, from Tupi (Brazil) tangara.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper