noun (1)
mer·​lin | \ ˈmər-lən How to pronounce merlin (audio) \

Definition of merlin

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small compact falcon (Falco columbarius) of the northern hemisphere having a broad dark terminal band on the tail and upperparts that are slate blue in males and brown in females


noun (2)
Mer·​lin | \ ˈmər-lən How to pronounce Merlin (audio) \

Definition of Merlin (Entry 2 of 2)

: a prophet and magician in Arthurian legend

Examples of merlin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Without considering merlins' impact, the piping plover population was otherwise projected to continue rebounding to 91 pairs by 2026. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Endangered piping plover's recovery may get derailed, thanks to another bird," 23 Jan. 2018 Factoring in merlins' rebound caused the projection of piping plover populations in the Great Lakes region to drop to 67 pairs within a decade, according to the new MSU modeling. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Endangered piping plover's recovery may get derailed, thanks to another bird," 23 Jan. 2018

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

First Known Use of merlin

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for merlin

Noun (1)

Middle English merlioun, from Anglo-French merilun, alteration of esmerilun, diminutive of Old French esmeril, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German smiril merlin

Noun (2)

Medieval Latin Merlinus, from Middle Welsh Myrddin

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Merker grass







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The first known use of merlin was in the 13th century

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with merlin Encyclopedia article about merlin

Comments on merlin

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


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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