spar·​row | \ ˈsper-(ˌ)ō How to pronounce sparrow (audio) , ˈspa-(ˌ)rō \

Definition of sparrow

1 : any of a genus (Passer of the family Passeridae) of small chiefly brownish or grayish Old World oscine songbirds that include some which have been widely introduced especially : house sparrow
2 : any of numerous finches (family Emberizidae) that are New World birds (such as the song sparrow or tree sparrow) resembling the Old World sparrows

Other Words from sparrow

sparrowlike \ ˈsper-​(ˌ)ō-​ˌlīk How to pronounce sparrow (audio) , -​ə-​ˌlīk ; ˈspa-​(ˌ)rō-​ˌlīk , -​rə-​ˌlīk \ adjective

Examples of sparrow in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Several upland sandpipers and a Lincoln’s sparrow in Ludlow., 7 May 2022 An Acadian flycatcher at the Ryder Conservation Area in Sandwich, an olive-sided flycatcher at Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary, a continuing blue grosbeak at the Crane Wildlife Area in Falmouth, and a seaside sparrow at Sandy Neck in West Barnstable., 4 June 2022 The saltmarsh sparrow population was just 50,000 a decade ago and has declined 9 percent annually. Maddie Bender, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 May 2022 As long as the wetlands don’t disappear entirely, there’s reason to hope the frisky saltmarsh sparrow, with a hand from us, will find a way. Maddie Bender, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 May 2022 Within a year, China’s sparrow population had collapsed. Eyck Freymann, WSJ, 28 Apr. 2022 The notables were two cackling geese at the campus pond on the UMass campus in Amherst, a short-eared owl at the Honey Pot in Hadley, and a clay-colored sparrow in Easthampton., 12 Feb. 2022 Amos Tversky was a buffalo of charisma and confidence; Daniel Kahneman was a sparrow of anxiety and neuroticism. Jennifer Senior, The Atlantic, 9 Feb. 2022 Lund’s allegorical novel imagines a boy with a Java sparrow living in his rib cage. Washington Post, 1 Feb. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of sparrow

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sparrow

Middle English sparow, from Old English spearwa; akin to Old High German sparo sparrow

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Time Traveler for sparrow

Time Traveler

The first known use of sparrow was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near sparrow

sparring partner



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Last Updated

28 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sparrow.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for sparrow


spar·​row | \ ˈsper-ō How to pronounce sparrow (audio) \

Kids Definition of sparrow

: a small songbird that has usually brownish or grayish feathers

More from Merriam-Webster on sparrow

Nglish: Translation of sparrow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sparrow for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sparrow


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