star·​ling | \ ˈstär-liŋ How to pronounce starling (audio) \

Definition of starling

: any of a family (Sturnidae, especially genus Sturnus) of usually dark gregarious oscine birds especially : a dark brown or in summer glossy greenish-black European bird (S. vulgaris) naturalized nearly worldwide and often considered a pest

Examples of starling in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Hello starlings and welcome back to another edition of This Week in Timothée Chalamet. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "This Week in Timothée Chalamet, October 19 Edition," 19 Oct. 2018 But its declining numbers have a more sinister cause: European starlings and, especially, house sparrows. John Kelly, Washington Post, "The feathers are flying in the battle between bluebirds and their killers," 2 May 2018 Tomaselli's haunting, complex images—of majestic ravens and starlings, tangles of snakes, sparkly constellations made up of flowers and butterflies—have all the mind-expanding power of a hallucinogenic trip without any of the side effects. Peter Terzian, ELLE Decor, "Pills and Thrills," 1 Nov. 2010 This is why people like Johnson despise the house sparrow, which, like the starling, was introduced from England. John Kelly, Washington Post, "The feathers are flying in the battle between bluebirds and their killers," 2 May 2018 Bouchaine Vineyards in the Carneros region of California’s Napa Valley started using falconers in 2016 to keep other birds — like starlings and migratory species— from eating their grapes. Washington Post, "Tourists experience the ancient sport of falconry," 11 June 2018 There’s a fluttering kinship between them, like starlings or Aspen trees. Maggie Lange, The Cut, "Some Thoughts on the Tassel Earring," 28 June 2018 From the publisher: 'Designed for More' draws groundbreaking implications for how to achieve unity and collective movement through new research on a jaw-dropping phenomenon of flocking starlings known as a murmuration. Lucas Ramirez, Fox News, "'Designed for More' by Lucas Ramirez," 24 June 2018 Bird TLC, which has two full-time and one part-time staff members and a roster of 65 volunteers, is permitted to care for any bird in Alaska except pigeons and starlings, both deemed invasive by state officials. Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News, "Spreading their wings: Bird TLC is getting a home of its own," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'starling.' 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 starling

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for starling

Middle English, from Old English stærlinc, from stær starling + -ling, -linc -ling; akin to Old High German stara starling, Latin sturnus

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Time Traveler for starling

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

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More Definitions for starling



English Language Learners Definition of starling

: a dark brown or black bird that is common in Europe and the U.S.


star·​ling | \ ˈstär-liŋ How to pronounce starling (audio) \

Kids Definition of starling

: a dark brown or greenish black European bird that is now common in the United States

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More from Merriam-Webster on starling

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with starling

Spanish Central: Translation of starling

Nglish: Translation of starling for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about starling

Comments on starling

What made you want to look up starling? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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