snowbird

noun
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 The Valley of the Sun has been a favorite of both retirees and snowbirds for years with acres of green golf courses and mild winters. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "Navigating coronavirus pandemic can be isolating and frightening to senior citizens," 25 Mar. 2020 Truck drivers and Canadian snowbirds, who live in the U.S. for part of the year and are returning to Canada, are among those expected to get an exemption. Rob Gillies, Anchorage Daily News, "US and Canada will close border to nonessential travel," 18 Mar. 2020 Truck drivers and Canadian snowbirds, who live in the U.S. for part of the year and are returning to Canada, are among those expected to get an exemption. Rob Gillies, Fortune, "Trump: US, Canada closing border to nonessential travel to stem spread of coronavirus," 18 Mar. 2020 Truck drivers and Canadian snowbirds, who live in the U.S. for part of the year and are returning to Canada, are among those expected to get an exemption. Tim Darnell, ajc, "BREAKING: Trump closes U.S.-Canadian border," 18 Mar. 2020 Catherine, a 58-year-old Florida snowbird who uses Blink cameras to watch her home in Minnesota and who requested to use only her first name, said the cameras have become so easy to turn on that many people don’t really think about what’s at stake. Drew Harwell, Washington Post, "Ring and Nest helped normalize American surveillance and turned us into a nation of voyeurs," 18 Feb. 2020 Catherine, a 58-year-old Florida snowbird who uses Blink cameras to watch her home in Minnesota and who requested to use only her first name, said the cameras have become so easy to turn on that many people don't really think about what's at stake. Drew Harwell, Anchorage Daily News, "Ring and Nest helped normalize American surveillance - and turned us into a nation of voyeurs," 18 Feb. 2020 Opened in 1924, the swank Mediterranean Revival hotel attracted many rich snowbirds (a yellow light in the bell tower was illuminated every winter season as a kind of Bat-Signal for the well-heeled). Paul Abercrombie, Washington Post, "St. Petersburg, Fla.," 12 Feb. 2020 The result is no small degree of consternation in a residential and golf community serving a 55-and-older clientele dominated by transplants and snowbirds from the Midwest. New York Times, "South Texas Resort Includes a Pool, a Golf Course and, Maybe, a Border Wall," 5 Sep. 2019

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of snowbird was in 1674

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Statistics for snowbird

Last Updated

30 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Snowbird.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/snowbird. Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for snowbird

snowbird

noun
How to pronounce snowbird (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of snowbird

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on snowbird

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for snowbird

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with snowbird

Britannica English: Translation of snowbird for Arabic Speakers

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