canary

noun ca·nary \ kə-ˈner-ē \

Definition of canary

plural canaries
1 : a Canary Islands usually sweet wine similar to Madeira
2 : a lively 16th century court dance
3 : a small finch (Serinus canarius synonym S. canaria) of the Canary Islands that is usually greenish to yellow and is kept as a cage bird and singer
4 slang : informer 2

Examples of canary in a Sentence

  1. a canary who was singing and giving up the names of some of the city's most notorious drug lords

Recent Examples of canary from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of canary

Medieval French canarie, from Old Spanish canario, from Islas Canarias Canary Islands



CANARY Defined for English Language Learners

canary

noun

Definition of canary for English Language Learners

  • : a small usually yellow or green tropical bird that is often kept in a cage


CANARY Defined for Kids

canary

noun ca·nary \ kə-ˈner-ē \

Definition of canary for Students

plural canaries
: a small usually yellow songbird often kept in a cage


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