Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

canary

play
noun ca·nary \kə-ˈner-ē\

Simple Definition of canary

  • : a small usually yellow or green tropical bird that is often kept in a cage

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of canary

plural canaries

  1. 1 :  a Canary Islands usually sweet wine similar to Madeira

  2. 2 :  a lively 16th century court dance

  3. 3 :  a small finch (Serinus canarius syn. S. canaria) of the Canary Islands that is usually greenish to yellow and is kept as a cage bird and singer

  4. 4 slang :  informer 2

Examples of canary in a sentence

  1. <a canary who was singing and giving up the names of some of the city's most notorious drug lords>



Origin of canary

Middle French canarie, from Old Spanish canario, from Islas Canarias Canary Islands


First Known Use: 1584



CANARY Defined for Kids

canary

play
noun ca·nary \kə-ˈner-ē\

Definition of canary for Students

plural canaries

  1. :  a small usually yellow songbird often kept in a cage





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up canary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by propriety and good taste

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

maudlin oily prompt angry
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ