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

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Other Words from sparrow

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

Examples of sparrow in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Scientists collected 3 years of data from 11 sparrow colonies around London where the birds breed. Kelly Mayes, Science | AAAS, "Researchers think they know what’s killing London’s iconic sparrow," 16 July 2019 And this is one of the most better spots for the plump, sparrow-size shorebirds. Washington Post, "Rising waters in the Great Lakes puts endangered shorebird at greater risk," 17 June 2019 Only such substantial alterations on a short timescale, the story went, could account for the sudden transformation from a 300-pound theropod to the sparrow-size prehistoric bird Iberomesornis. Quanta Magazine, "How Dinosaurs Shrank and Became Birds," 2 June 2015 Researchers are working with landowners in the state to preserve some of the last vital habitats available for grassland birds, like the bobolink, Savannah sparrow and meadowlark. USA TODAY, "Kacey Musgraves, sneaker flap, skiing in July: News from around our 50 states," 3 July 2019 At Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, there were two Wilson’s phalaropes, three swamp sparrows, four American redstarts, and a blackpoll warbler. BostonGlobe.com, "Bird sightings across the region," 23 June 2019 Synthetic materials may even confer some advantages over natural ones; sparrows and finches, for instance, have been known to stuff cigarette butts into the lining of their nests as a means of warding off parasitic mites. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Found: A Bees’ Nest Built Entirely of Plastic Waste," 7 June 2019 Light mint green vintage cabinets and a matching retro refrigerator make the space bright and cheery, while sparrows (in honor of the home's name) are featured on the walls. Lauren Smith, House Beautiful, "A Retro Cabin That Will Help You Escape Reality," 1 Oct. 2015 Also spotted on the island were six common loons, two American golden-plovers, two roseate terns, and a seaside sparrow. BostonGlobe.com, "bird sightings," 30 June 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for sparrow

Last Updated

22 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for sparrow

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

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More Definitions for sparrow

sparrow

noun

English Language Learners Definition of sparrow

: a common type of small bird that usually has brown or gray feathers

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on sparrow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sparrow

Spanish Central: Translation of sparrow

Nglish: Translation of sparrow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sparrow for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sparrow

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