shrike

noun
\ ˈshrīk How to pronounce shrike (audio) , especially Southern ˈsrīk \

Definition of shrike

: any of numerous usually largely gray or brownish oscine birds (family Laniidae) that have a hooked bill, feed chiefly on insects, and often impale their prey on thorns

Illustration of shrike

Illustration of shrike

Examples of shrike in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The loggerhead shrike is a rare breeder in Minnesota that gets replaced in winter by the northern shrike, which begins arriving in late October. Bob Timmons, Star Tribune, 21 Jan. 2021 The first Northern shrike of the winter arrived at Plum Island. BostonGlobe.com, 28 Oct. 2019 One of the few natural predators of live lubbers is the shrike, a small bird that can decapitate the grasshoppers with its beak or impale them on thorns or barbed-wire fences. Adriana Brasileiro, orlandosentinel.com, 19 July 2019 All the livestock is gone now, and after some early failures, shrikes are being re-introduced in greater numbers. John Wilkens, sandiegouniontribune.com, 17 Sep. 2017 In the past, loggerhead shrikes were very common birds across North America. Jackson Landers, Smithsonian, 18 May 2017 Kingfishers give fish to their mates, while the great gray shrike, native to most northern climes, is more dramatic. National Geographic, 24 Dec. 2016 The eastern subspecies of loggerhead shrike, native to Canada, is one of the most endangered birds on the planet. Jackson Landers, Smithsonian, 18 May 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of shrike

1544, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shrike

perhaps from Middle English *shrik, from Old English scrīc thrush; akin to Middle English shriken to shriek

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About shrike

Dictionary Entries Near shrike

shriftfather

shrike

shrike thrush

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for shrike

Cite this Entry

“Shrike.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shrike. Accessed 28 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on shrike

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about shrike

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!