mag·​pie | \ˈmag-ˌpī \

Definition of magpie 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of various birds (especially Pica pica) related to the jays but having a long graduated tail and black-and-white or brightly colored plumage

2 : a person who chatters noisily

3 : one who collects indiscriminately



Definition of magpie (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : collected indiscriminately : miscellaneous magpie compilations of unrelated tidbits— Helen R. Cross

2 : given to indiscriminate collecting : acquisitive what possible magpie instinct had impelled me to retain them— S. J. Perelman

Illustration of magpie

Illustration of magpie


magpie 1

In the meaning defined above

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Examples of magpie in a Sentence


media magpies will no doubt seize upon the president's latest gaffe and blow it all out of proportion


a pack rat whose cramped apartment is filled with a magpie collection of books, old newspapers, and tchotchkes

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Elephants and magpies recognize themselves in mirrors. David Scharfenberg,, "Did humans drive this polar bear insane?," 13 July 2018 Birds such as crows, ravens, finches and magpies act as hosts for the disease. Hannah Holzer, sacbee, "West Nile Virus season has begun: 8 birds have tested positive in Sac County," 25 June 2018 For the traditional Frankfurt fare, go to Atschel, magpie in local dialect. Nina Adam, WSJ, "Frankfurt: A Business Traveler’s Guide," 22 June 2018 Image The omnivorous imagination of Alessandro Michele continues its march over the countryside, redesigning the hills and furrows of the modern wardrobe in the brand’s current magpie image. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, "Gucci Has a Rave in a Cemetery," 31 May 2018 The green magpies are one the most endangered birds on Earth. Karel Janicek,, "Prague zookeepers use puppet to raise endangered magpie," 18 Apr. 2018 The magpie chick which hatched a month ago is being kept in a box and fed using a puppet that imitates a parent bird. Fox News, "Prague zookeepers use puppet to raise endangered magpie," 17 Apr. 2018 Festivalgoers can discover the bush cuisine that the aboriginal people have eaten for more than 65,000 years — there’s emu, chorizo, barramundi, magpie goose and more. New York Times, "From Peppers to Pork Pies, the Most Interesting Food Festivals of the Year," 21 Feb. 2018 Members of the corvid family (songbirds including ravens, crows, jays, and magpies, to name a few) are among the most intelligent birds, though common ravens may have the edge on tackling tough problems, according to McGowan. National Geographic, "Why Ravens and Crows Are Earth’s Smartest Birds," 15 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'magpie.' 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 magpie


1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1796, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for magpie


Mag (nickname for Margaret) + pie entry 1

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Statistics for magpie

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Time Traveler for magpie

The first known use of magpie was in 1598

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More Definitions for magpie



English Language Learners Definition of magpie

: a noisy black-and-white bird

: a person who collects and keeps different things


mag·​pie | \ˈmag-ˌpī \

Kids Definition of magpie

: a noisy black-and-white bird related to the jays

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More from Merriam-Webster on magpie

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with magpie

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for magpie

Spanish Central: Translation of magpie

Nglish: Translation of magpie for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about magpie

Comments on magpie

What made you want to look up magpie? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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