nightingale

noun night·in·gale \ ˈnī-tᵊn-ˌgāl , -tiŋ- \

Definition of nightingale

: an Old World thrush (Luscinia megarhynchos synonym Erithacus megarhynchos) noted for the sweet usually nocturnal song of the male; also : any of various other birds noted for their sweet song or for singing at night

Recent Examples of nightingale from the Web

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Illustration of nightingale

Origin and Etymology of nightingale

Middle English, variant (with intrusive n) of nyhtegale, nyghtgale, going back to Old English nehtægale, nihtegale, going back to West Germanic *nahti-galōn, from *nahti- 1night + -galōn, noun derivative of Germanic *galan- "to sing," whence Old English galan "to sing, call, sing enchantments," Old High German, "to sing enchantments, conjure," Old Norse gala "to crow, chant, sing," perhaps of onomatopoeic origin
Note: Germanic *galan- has been compared with Gothic goljan "to greet," Old Norse gæla "to comfort, soothe, appease," allegedly from a causative derivative *gōljan- from underlying *gol-. Proposed Indo-European comparisons (as Russian dialect galit' "to smile," galit'sja "to mock, jeer," Armenian gełgełem "sing beautifully, quiver, vibrate") are tenuous. See also etymology at 1yell.


Nightingale

biographical name Night·in·gale \ ˈnī-tᵊn-ˌgāl , -tiŋ- \

Definition of Nightingale

Florence 1820–1910 English nurse and philanthropist

NIGHTINGALE Defined for English Language Learners

nightingale

noun

Definition of nightingale for English Language Learners

  • : a small brown European bird that sings a beautiful song especially at night


NIGHTINGALE Defined for Kids

nightingale

noun night·in·gale \ ˈnī-tᵊn-ˌgāl \

Definition of nightingale for Students

: a reddish brown European bird noted for the sweet song of the male usually heard at night


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