Definition of bird-of-paradise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

noun phrase

Definition of bird of paradise (Entry 2 of 2)

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

First Known Use of bird-of-paradise


circa 1884, in the meaning defined above

Noun phrase

1595, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of bird-of-paradise was in 1595

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Cite this Entry

“Bird-of-paradise.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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bird of paradise


English Language Learners Definition of bird of paradise

: any one of many brightly colored birds that live in New Guinea and on nearby islands

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