bud·​ger·​i·​gar ˈbə-jə-rē-ˌgär How to pronounce budgerigar (audio)
: a small Australian parrot (Melopsittacus undulatus) usually light green with black and yellow markings in the wild but bred under domestication in many colors

Examples of budgerigar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Images of a budgerigar yawning (beginning to peak) Think about yawning. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 16 June 2017 Compared to, say, a parrot or a budgerigar, scrub jays—which are known for their long tail and beautiful blue coloring—are rarely domesticated, and don’t often interact with humans. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 16 Mar. 2021 Indeed, these plant lovers have the same emotional connection to flora that the Young and the Houseless used to have to fauna like beagles, Siamese cats, budgerigars and, in certain highly unusual cases, Rottweilers. Joe Queenan, WSJ, 26 July 2018 Meanwhile, Yoshimasa Seki of the Brain Science Institute in Japan and his team successfully trained budgerigars (parakeets) to peck an LED in time to a wide range of tempos. Quanta Magazine, 22 Mar. 2016 Outback pools draw immense swarms of parakeets called budgerigars. John Pickrell, Science | AAAS, 11 Aug. 2017

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

Word History


probably borrowed from a word in the Australian Indigenous language Gamilaraay or another language of the Central Inland New South Wales group (first recorded as betcherrygah), later confounded with budgeree "good, fine" (in New South Wales Pidgin) taken as descriptive of the bird

Note: Early independently collected recordings of this bird name from New South Wales in the 1840's were betcherrygah (recorded by John Gould, pioneer of Australian ornithology), budgeeregor (though transcription is uncertain), bugerrigang, and bidgerigung (see details in David Nash, "The Smuggled Budgie: Case Study of an Australian Loanblend" in Robert Mailhammer editor, Lexical and Structural Etymology: Beyond Word Histories [De Gruyter, 2013], pp. 293-311). Peculiarly, later records of Gamilaraay and Yuwaalaraay, another language of the Central New South Wales group, show a different word, gidjirrigaa, as the name for Melopsittacus undulatus, with no surviving record of the name recorded by Gould and others. This presumed instability may be related to the fact that the bird was a relative novelty in this area of New South Wales (the Liverpool Plains) before a major irruption in the year before it was seen by Gould.

First Known Use

1840, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of budgerigar was in 1840

Dictionary Entries Near budgerigar

Cite this Entry

“Budgerigar.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/budgerigar. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


bud·​ger·​i·​gar ˈbəj-(ə-)ri-ˌgär How to pronounce budgerigar (audio)
: a small brightly colored Australian parrot often kept as a pet
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