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 Every single person, including the director, got a blackbird tattoo to kind of commemorate our experience together. Lauren Huff,, "Rainn Wilson on bringing the laughs to end-of-life drama Blackbird," 17 Sep. 2020 There is a beautiful moment when the narrator wants Jenny to hear the song of a blackbird. Washington Post, "The end of summer is always sad. This year, my grief led me back to a favorite short story and book of photographs.," 22 Sep. 2020 Still, as more of us nest at home, at least some of us see the pesky blackbird in a brighter light. René A. Guzman,, "S.A.’s Common Critters: Grackles may be San Antonio’s most hated bird, for their noise and their poop mess," 18 Aug. 2020 And mama blackbirds protecting their young are dive-bombing locals on the corner of Avila and Cervantes streets in the Marina. Rachel Levin,, "In the Bay Area, wildlife comes out to play while humans shelter in place," 3 June 2020 Bass also have been known to eat birds such as baby ducks and cattail-hopping redwing blackbirds, and artificial imitations of small birds and other animals are available. Bob Mcnally, Field & Stream, "The Beginner’s Guide to Catching Your First Fish," 11 May 2020 Some birds, robins and blackbirds among them, find social distancing impossible, while flycatchers dine alone. John Gurda, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A balm for coronavirus anxiety: Milwaukee's wild places, where the rhythms of nature are steady as ever," 30 Apr. 2020 The eagle kept soaring on, and the blackbird eventual gave up on proving its point and flew back home. Kelli Bender,, "Amateur Photographer Captures Amazing Photo of Blackbird Riding on Bald Eagle's Back," 10 July 2019 Richard Dolbeer was once the man to call if millions of blackbirds or fruit bats were ravaging your fields. Brendan I. Koerner, Wired, "It's a Bird! It's a Plane! The Midair Collisions Menacing Air Travel," 24 Jan. 2020

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.

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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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Cite this Entry

“Blackbird.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for blackbird



English Language Learners Definition of blackbird

: any one of several American birds with males that are mostly black
: a common European bird with males that have black feathers and an orange bill


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

Kids Definition of blackbird

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

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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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