noun \ˈshrīk, especially Southern ˈsrīk\

Definition of SHRIKE

:  any of numerous usually largely gray or brownish oscine birds (family Laniidae) that have a hooked bill, feed chiefly on insects, and often impale their prey on thorns

Illustration of SHRIKE

Origin of SHRIKE

perhaps from Middle English *shrik, from Old English scrīc thrush; akin to Middle English shriken to shriek
First Known Use: 1544

Rhymes with SHRIKE


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of approximately 80 species of solitary predatory songbirds (family Laniidae), especially any of the 25 species of the genus Lanius. Shrikes kill insects, lizards, mice, and birds with their bill or may impale their prey on a thorn (earning them the name butcher bird). Most species are gray or brownish and have a harsh call; several Eurasian species have reddish or brown markings. The great gray shrike (L. excubitor), called northern shrike in Canada and the U.S., is about 10 in. (25 cm) long and has a black mask. The only other New World species is the similar but smaller loggerhead shrike (L. ludovicianus) of North America.


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