• synonyms


  1. any of numerous, medium-sized songbirds of the family Turdinae, usually dull brown and often speckled below, and including many outstanding singers.
  2. any of various superficially similar birds, as the water thrushes.
  3. Slang. a female professional singer, especially of popular songs.
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Origin of thrush1

before 900; Middle English thrusche, Old English thrȳsce; cognate with Old High German drōsca
Related formsthrush·like, adjective


  1. Pathology. a disease, especially in children, characterized by whitish spots and ulcers on the membranes of the mouth, fauces, etc., caused by a parasitic fungus, Candida albicans.
  2. Veterinary Pathology. (in horses) a diseased condition of the frog of the foot.
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Origin of thrush2

1655–65; akin to Danish tröske, Swedish torsk
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for thrush

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • A thrush sat in the hedge, and she was singing her morning song.

  • However, when you can't get a thrush, eat a blackbird, as the proverb says.

  • No amount of hushing has any effect; you might just as well hush a blackbird or a thrush.

    Jan and Her Job

    L. Allen Harker

  • He was talking with her in an English garden and a thrush was singing overhead.

    Murder Point

    Coningsby Dawson

  • The thrush sang his two syllables on the budding guelder-rose.

    Howards End

    E. M. Forster

British Dictionary definitions for thrush


  1. any songbird of the subfamily Turdinae, esp those having a brown plumage with a spotted breast, such as the mistle thrush and song thrush: family MuscicapidaeCompare water thrush Related adjective: turdine
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Word Origin

Old English thrӯsce; related to Old High German drōsca; see throstle, throat


    1. a fungal disease of the mouth, esp of infants, and the genitals, characterized by the formation of whitish spots and caused by infection with the fungus Candida albicans
    2. another word for sprue 1
  1. a softening of the frog of a horse's hoof characterized by degeneration and a thick foul discharge
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Word Origin

C17: related to Old Danish törsk, Danish troske
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 thrush


type of songbird, Old English þyrsce (related to throstle), from Proto-Germanic *thruskjon (cf. Old Norse þröstr, Norwegian trost, Old High German drosca), from PIE *trozdo- (cf. Latin turdus, Lithuainian strazdas "thrush," Middle Irish truid, Welsh drudwy "starling," Old Church Slavonic drozgu, Russian drozdu).

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throat disease, 1660s, probably from a Scandinavian source (cf. Norwegian, Danish trøske, Swedish torsk), but its roots and original meaning are unclear.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

thrush in Medicine


  1. A contagious disease caused by a fungus, Candida albicans, that occurs most often in infants and children, characterized by small whitish eruptions on the mouth, throat, and tongue, and usually accompanied by fever, colic, and diarrhea.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

thrush in Science


  1. An infectious disease, caused by the fungus Candida albicans, characterized by small whitish eruptions on the mouth, throat, and tongue, and sometimes accompanied by fever, colic, and diarrhea. Thrush is most often seen in infants, children, and people with impaired immune systems.
  2. A degenerative condition of a horse's foot, usually caused by unhygienic management.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.