snow·bird | \ˈsnō-ˌbərd \

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

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 Luscious heirloom tomatoes over milky sweet burrata are a snowbird’s delight in winter. Craig Laban,, "Orlando's best dining thrills are outside the parks," 22 June 2018 Mary Jane spent her retirement time as a snowbird travelling to Florida for the winter months and returned to New England for the summer months. Hartford Courant,, "Mary Jane Pacino," 1 Apr. 2018 Akhtar Hussain, owner of the Village Coffee Pot on Donnelly Street, said the four-hour time limit is needed only when snowbirds are in the area. Jason Ruiter,, "Mount Dora launches shuttle system, parking limits to ease visitors' search for scarce spots," 1 Apr. 2018 The 71-year-old is another snowbird splitting time between Massachusetts and Lauderdale By The Sea. Emmett Hall,, "East Coast showcase still a big hit with senior softball players," 19 Mar. 2018 Despite the decade’s influx of godless movie people and their trailing entourage of wannabes and hangers-on, the city had remained a magnet for aging health-seekers, middle-class snowbirds, and retirees from the Midwest. Gary Krist, Los Angeles Magazine, "Why a Legendary East Coast Evangelist Chose Los Angeles for Her Pentecostal Empire," 7 May 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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Statistics for snowbird

Last Updated

18 Aug 2018

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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

: someone who spends the winter months in a warm place

More from Merriam-Webster on snowbird

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Britannica English: Translation of snowbird for Arabic Speakers

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