sparrow

noun
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. BostonGlobe.com, 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. BostonGlobe.com, 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. BostonGlobe.com, 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

Learn More About sparrow

Time Traveler for sparrow

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near sparrow

sparring partner

sparrow

sparrowbill

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for sparrow

Last Updated

28 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Sparrow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sparrow. Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for sparrow

sparrow

noun
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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sparrow

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!