- any of numerous songbirds of the New World family Thraupidae, the males of which are usually brightly colored.
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
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.
I waited only for warm days to set free the tanager, and at last they came.
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.
- any American songbird of the family Thraupidae, having a short thick bill and a brilliantly coloured male plumage
C19: from New Latin tanagra, based on Tupi tangara
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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper