lyre·​bird ˈlī(-ə)r-ˌbərd How to pronounce lyrebird (audio)
: either of two Australian passerine birds (genus Menura) distinguished in the male by very long tail feathers displayed in the shape of a lyre during courtship

Illustration of lyrebird

Illustration of lyrebird

Examples of lyrebird in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For example, the start of winter in her local area in northern New South Wales is indicated by male lyrebirds singing. Aarti Betigeri, Time, 14 Jan. 2020 The team noticed that species with particularly ancient lineages, such as lyrebirds, scrub-birds and New Zealand wrens, still build roofed structures—suggesting that ancestral passerine nests were domed. Kat Long, Scientific American, 1 May 2017 Briefly, another fascinating surprise was the propensity of ravens to mimic human sounds, much like parrots or lyrebirds do. James Floyd Kelly, WIRED, 12 July 2012

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

Word History

First Known Use

1834, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lyrebird was in 1834

Dictionary Entries Near lyrebird

Cite this Entry

“Lyrebird.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


lyre·​bird -ˌbərd How to pronounce lyrebird (audio)
: either of two Australian birds of which the males have very long tail feathers displayed during courtship in the shape of a lyre

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