- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for 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
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.
This was a wind to drive the Vireo at a fine pace over the bay.
- any insectivorous American songbird of the family Vireonidae, esp those of the genus Vireo, having an olive-grey back with pale underparts
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