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

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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

While snowbirds have long enjoyed Scottsdale’s links, resorts, spas, dining and untamed desert landscapes, increasingly the city caters to a younger crowd. Matthew Kitchen, WSJ, "The Essential Insider’s Guide to Scottsdale, Ariz.," 6 Feb. 2019 That kick would send Arizona’s snowbirds flying for a friendlier perch. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Vote on Judicial Independence," 2 Oct. 2018 For over seventy years, The Colony has welcomed U.S. presidents, European royalty, and winter season snowbirds. Ariel Okin, Vogue, "Here’s Why Palm Beach Has Become a Destination for Young Interior Designers," 7 Dec. 2018 Now a national landmark, Vizcaya is a living museum not just to the early days of Miami’s rise as a destination for both tourists and snowbirds but to old-school European design. Jennifer M. Wood, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Best Museums in Miami," 27 Feb. 2018 Panthers fever quickly swept South Florida, from the Canadian snowbirds who resided in Hollywood, Fla., to new fans around Little Havana. Gerald Narciso, New York Times, "Florida Panthers Hear Echoes of Their Early Years in the Golden Knights," 2 June 2018 The competitors have said the seasonal nature of resort work — which picks up in the fall and drops off in the spring when wealthy snowbirds leave Palm Beach — is not attractive to American workers. Washington Post,, "Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club wants to hire 40 foreign workers," 6 July 2018 Trump's competitors have said the seasonal nature of resort work, which picks up in the fall and drops off in the spring when wealthy snowbirds leave Palm Beach, is not attractive to American workers. David A. Fahrenthold,, "Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida seeks to hire 61 foreign workers as seasonal cooks and waiters," 6 July 2018 And so the legend is told: Florida is the place from which pickleball migrated to the Jersey shore, paddles and balls stashed in the trunks of white sedans with Florida plates driven by snowbirds to their summer homes. Amy S. Rosenberg,, "Ocean City and the most cutthroat pickleball game at the Jersey Shore," 11 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of snowbird

1674, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for snowbird

The first known use of snowbird was in 1674

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English Language Learners Definition of snowbird

US : someone who spends the winter months in a warm place

More from Merriam-Webster on snowbird

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with snowbird

Britannica English: Translation of snowbird for Arabic Speakers

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