purple martin

noun

: a large swallow (Progne subis) of North America the males of which have glossy purplish-blue plumage

Examples of purple martin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Birds that forage for insects during flight, such as swallows and purple martins, also leave the sky. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, 3 Mar. 2024 But purple martins—shimmery, blackish-bluish swallows native to North America—just can’t get enough. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 17 Oct. 2023 Allowed to mature, it can be hollowed out to make vessels, utensils, musical instruments, and birdhouses (especially purple martin houses). Rita Pelczar, Better Homes & Gardens, 8 Sep. 2023 Two Caspian terns at West Beach in Westport and another Caspian tern at Broad Cove in Somerset, and two great cormorants, two great shearwaters, and four purple martins at Gooseberry Neck in Westport. BostonGlobe.com, 2 Sep. 2023 This scenic bayside village between Newport and Providence is home to intriguing species such as the wading willet and the iridescent purple martin, depending on the season. Alexandra Marvar, Travel + Leisure, 27 Aug. 2023 While many other birds prefer to nest alone, purple martins are the exception. Brandi Fuller, Better Homes & Gardens, 17 May 2023 Take a boat tour to Bomb Island on Lake Murray between June and August to see 500,000 to 750,000 purple martins dotting the skies. Sucheta Rawal, Travel + Leisure, 18 Apr. 2023 Recent research has revealed that purple martins rely on larger insects for their food, including dragonflies; and dragonflies eat many more mosquitoes than martins do. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, 10 Mar. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'purple martin.' 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

1731, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of purple martin was in 1731

Dictionary Entries Near purple martin

Cite this Entry

“Purple martin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/purple%20martin. Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

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