snow·​bird | \ ˈsnō-ˌbərd How to pronounce snowbird (audio) \

Definition of snowbird

1 : any of several birds (such as a junco or fieldfare) seen chiefly in winter
2 : one who travels to warm climes for the winter

Did you know?

Snowbird has been in use since the late 1600s, but it has only been applied to humans since the early 1900s. It was first used to describe men who enlisted in the armed forces to get food and clothing during the winter months and then deserted as the warm spring weather approached. Not long after, the term was applied to the northern laborers who would flock down south to work as the cold, harsh winter set in up north. Today, northerners of all kinds, from vacationers to retirees, can be seen migrating as soon as the first frost arrives.

Examples of snowbird in a Sentence

Like many of the state's snowbirds, they live in Florida from November through March.
Recent Examples on the Web Pickleball is ideal for snowbird couples looking to befriend their new neighbors, and in the late seventies and the eighties its popularity soared in retirement communities. Sarah Larson, The New Yorker, 18 July 2022 But the girl who once strode valiantly into nil temperatures, wiping away eyelash icicles with nonchalance, is now a snowbird who wistfully seeks a warm—no, hot—reprieve as soon as the first sub-50 degree day of the season appears on my weather app. Rachel Besser, Vogue, 15 Jan. 2022 Any of the players and coaches who will be sitting and watching from home would trade places with the Cardinals faster than a snowbird can drive south for the winter. Greg Moore, The Arizona Republic, 10 Jan. 2022 The 42-year-old snowbird hooked on with the Panthers on a one-year, league-minimum $750,000 deal, solidifying the team’s forward depth and bringing his trademark sunshine and good vibes., 14 Aug. 2021 Its top destinations in 2020 included popular snowbird staples such as Phoenix, and Florida cities Fort Myers and Naples. Elaina Patton, NBC News, 6 July 2021 Golden-Bear, who settled in Quartzsite in 2010 and runs the town’s newspaper, the Desert Messenger, was once a snowbird, coming here most winters from Oregon. Los Angeles Times, 8 Mar. 2021 One must-have items any snowbird should have under their belt? Melissa Lee, USA TODAY, 22 Dec. 2020 So how will the snowbird that got her first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine in New York make sure the pharmacy in Florida gives her the right second shot? USA Today, 16 Dec. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of snowbird

1674, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of snowbird was in 1674

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Dictionary Entries Near snowbird

snowberry clearwing


snow blanket

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Cite this Entry

“Snowbird.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on snowbird

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for snowbird

Britannica English: Translation of snowbird for Arabic Speakers


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