noun, plural vir·e·os.

any of several small, insectivorous American birds of the family Vireonidae, having the plumage usually olive-green or gray above and white or yellow below.

Origin of vireo

1825–35; < New Latin; Latin vireō (Pliny), probably the greenfinch, derivative of virēre to be green Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for vireo

lark, wren, canary, pipit, serin, oscine

Examples from the Web for vireo

Historical Examples of vireo

  • Yet the vireo is more common than two-thirds of the birds he knows.

    The Meaning of Evolution

    Samuel Christian Schmucker

  • For one instant I thought, Can it be the Philadelphia vireo?

    The Foot-path Way

    Bradford Torrey

  • It was a vireo's nest; but it was too large, too downy, too yellow for Red-eye.

    Wild Life Near Home

    Dallas Lore Sharp

  • He had thought of the Vireo, which lay moored at the wharf in the inlet.

    Friendship and Folly

    Maria Louise Pool

  • This was a wind to drive the Vireo at a fine pace over the bay.

    Friendship and Folly

    Maria Louise Pool

British Dictionary definitions for vireo


noun plural vireos

any insectivorous American songbird of the family Vireonidae, esp those of the genus Vireo, having an olive-grey back with pale underparts

Word Origin for vireo

C19: from Latin: a bird, probably a greenfinch; compare virēre to be green
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 vireo

1834, from Latin vireo, a word Pliny uses for some kind of bird, perhaps the greenfinch, from virere "be green" (see verdure). Applied in modern times to an American bird.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper