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Word of the Day
Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Definitions for murmuration

  1. a flock of starlings.
  2. an act or instance of murmuring.

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Citations for murmuration
They'd whirl and wheel in the sky, turning fast and coming around, blackening as they blocked the light and then spreading out and thinning as they changed direction in long sweeps. A murmuration; that's what it's called. Joseph D'Lacey, The Book of the Crowman, 2014
A murmuration. Not the rarest of sights, but always breathtaking. The birds moved as a single entity, like a giant shape-shifter, a cloud that swelled and shrank as they flew--wheeling, soaring, rising, and falling like dark liquid. Marty Wingate, Empty Nest, 2015
Origin of murmuration
Murmuration-, the inflectional stem of the Latin noun murmurātiō, derives from the verb murmurāre “to mutter, make a gentle sound, roar, grumble.” Murmurāre is a Latin reflex of mormor-, murmur-, a Proto-Indo-European onomatopoeic root that appears in ancient Greek mormýrein “to boil noisily (of water),” Sanskrit marmara- “rustling, rushing,” Lithuanian murmėti “to babble, mutter,” and German murmeln “to mumble, murmur.” The word entered English in the 14th century.