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
sparrowlikeplay \ˈsper-(ˌ)ō-ˌlīk, -ə-ˌlīk; ˈspa-(ˌ)rō-ˌlīk, -rə-ˌlīk\ adjective
Recent Examples of sparrow from the Web
Sparrows flock to the lush piece of land, coveted by the city for a birding park.
Its mousebird descendants—about the size of a sparrow and marked by their soft, grayish or brownish hairlike feathers—still dwell in trees in sub-Saharan Africa today.
If sparrows were no more except in one Dutch forest, the seeds that sparrows disperse would stay in place everywhere else.
Purple, fragrant carpets of the flower in the former Lake Mills are alive with white-crowned sparrows, nesting and singing.
Sparrows, whose numbers have dropped 60 percent since 1992, nest in six locations in the park.
Education: Sparrows Point High School; bachelor's degree, Goucher College; master's degree, George Washington University; working on doctoral degree in public policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Orland Grassland was recently designated an Important Bird Area by the National Audobon Society for its success in bringing back many threatened or endangered birds, including the Henslow's sparrow, Hayes said.
And bees aren’t the only ones—bird species like tree sparrows, which nest on the ground and breed during the summer, are also at risk.
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.
Origin and Etymology of sparrow
Middle English sparow, from Old English spearwa; akin to Old High German sparo sparrow
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
SPARROW Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of sparrow for English Language Learners
: a common type of small bird that usually has brown or gray feathers
SPARROW Defined for Kids
Definition of sparrow for Students
: a small songbird that has usually brownish or grayish feathers
Seen and Heard
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