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bird-of-par·​a·​dise ˈbərd-əv-ˈper-ə-ˌdīs How to pronounce bird-of-paradise (audio)
- ˈpa-rə-
: an ornamental plant (Strelitzia reginae of the family Strelitziaceae) native to southern Africa that has scapes terminating in a horizontal bract from which emerges an upright flower having three orange or yellow sepals and three irregular blue petals

bird of paradise

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noun phrase

: any of numerous brilliantly colored plumed oscine birds (family Paradisaeidae) chiefly of New Guinea and neighboring islands

Examples of bird-of-paradise in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Instead, try Taylor’s suggestions: large-scale, easy-to-maintain plants like birds-of-paradise and bamboo palms. Ryan Conner, Dallas News, 20 Apr. 2023 This equatorial region stretches from the Tropic of Cancer to the Tropic of Capricorn, and it's overgrown with orchids, bougainvillea, and birds-of-paradise — not to mention the sugarcane that keeps resort bars stocked in rum. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 25 Mar. 2023
Noun phrase
With the sister’s help, Smith selected a bird of paradise photograph to expand and print onto a selection of billowy, silken pieces. Vogue, 14 Mar. 2024 Sofía Vergara, as beautifully exotic as a bird of paradise, was an invaluable — and very funny — member of ABC’s Modern Family ensemble for 11 seasons. Tom Gliatto, Peoplemag, 25 Jan. 2024 The Insecure actor arrived at the event looking like a literal bird of paradise in a feathered and crystal-embellished champagne Pamela Roland gown. Kathleen Walsh, Glamour, 16 Jan. 2024 Looking surprised by her own impulsivity, the wingless bird of paradise giggle-fusses over our felled friend until a bouncer muscles in to disentangle them. Matt Thompson, SPIN, 8 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bird-of-paradise.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1874, in the meaning defined above

Noun Phrase

1569, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bird-of-paradise was in 1569

Dictionary Entries Near bird-of-paradise

bird of night


bird of paradise

Cite this Entry

“Bird-of-paradise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


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: a plant from southern Africa that has a colorful flower head resembling the head of a bird with a crest

bird of paradise

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: any of numerous brilliantly colored birds of the New Guinea area that often have large graceful tail feathers and are related to the crows

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