mag·​pie | \ ˈmag-ˌpī How to pronounce magpie (audio) \

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

Examples of magpie in a Sentence

Noun media magpies will no doubt seize upon the president's latest gaffe and blow it all out of proportion Adjective a pack rat whose cramped apartment is filled with a magpie collection of books, old newspapers, and tchotchkes
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Erdmann soon set in motion a magpie rescue of sorts. Morgan Krakow, Anchorage Daily News, 4 May 2022 About a magpie approach, all bells and whistles and sequins and taffeta. Raven Smith, Vogue, 22 Mar. 2022 Or what if it is dug up by a badger and carried away by a magpie? David G.w. Birch, Forbes, 14 Mar. 2022 The rooms felt cozy and curated, filled with knickknacks collected over the years, like a magpie’s nest. Anna Russell, The New Yorker, 12 Mar. 2022 Researchers are unsure if the same female magpie removed all the harnesses or if multiple birds collaborated to help. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 25 Feb. 2022 There’s a difference between the careful construction of a true fashion lover’s wardrobe, and a magpie approach to just wearing a lot of designer crap. Todd Plummer, Harper's BAZAAR, 15 Feb. 2022 The Morsings have recorded 5,000 magpies approaching the gadget to give up their offerings — that's between five to 30 magpie visitors a day — over the past ten months. People Staff,, 7 Feb. 2022 Our magpie eyes will always be drawn to foolery and ephemera. Giles Hattersley, Vogue, 13 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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 2

Learn More About magpie

Dictionary Entries Near magpie



magpie diver

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Statistics for magpie

Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Magpie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for magpie


mag·​pie | \ ˈmag-ˌpī How to pronounce magpie (audio) \

Kids Definition of magpie

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

More from Merriam-Webster on magpie

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


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