black·​bird | \ ˈblak-ˌbərd How to pronounce blackbird (audio) \

Definition of blackbird

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of various birds of which the males are largely or entirely black: such as
a : a common thrush (Turdus merula) of Eurasia and northern Africa having an orange bill and eye rim
b : any of several American oscine birds (family Icteridae)
2 : a Pacific islander kidnapped for use as a plantation laborer


blackbirded; blackbirding; blackbirds

Definition of blackbird (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to engage in the slave trade especially in the South Pacific

Examples of blackbird in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the Russian firebird story, a woman artist is kidnapped by an evil foreign prince who disguises himself as a blackbird and then transforms her into a firebird to fly her back to his country. San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Apr. 2022 From his first recording of a Eurasian blackbird as a boy, Stewart’s motivation has been singular: to use sound as a megaphone for vulnerable places and animals. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Feb. 2022 There’s intention behind that aesthetically arresting flourish: In Mohegan, Sayet was named for a blackbird that flutters between the spirit world and the corporal realm. Washington Post, 29 June 2021 The blackbird hen is brown, purple finches are distinctly raspberry red and many greyhounds come in colors other than gray. Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 June 2021 There's a blackbird and there's a robin and a great tit and the rest have gone. Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY, 20 May 2021 The designs include a depiction of Angelou with a bird cage in one hand and a blackbird in another, a dove landing on an open book, as well as an ink quill fashioned to look like a bird. Isabella Meneses, ABC News, 8 May 2021 The grackle is the foot-long blackbird with bright yellow eyes. Jim Gilbert, Star Tribune, 18 Mar. 2021 Every single person, including the director, got a blackbird tattoo to kind of commemorate our experience together. Lauren Huff,, 17 Sep. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'blackbird.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of blackbird


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1836, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of blackbird was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near blackbird

black birch



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Last Updated

8 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Blackbird.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for blackbird


black·​bird | \ ˈblak-ˌbərd How to pronounce blackbird (audio) \

Kids Definition of blackbird

: any of several birds of which the males are mostly black

More from Merriam-Webster on blackbird

Nglish: Translation of blackbird for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of blackbird for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about blackbird


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