star·ling | \ˈstär-liŋ \

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

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 Alas, what might have worked for starlings did not work for squirrels. John Kelly, Washington Post, "In 1955, the White House waged warfare against some furry terrorists: squirrels," 14 Apr. 2018 Should house sparrows and European starlings — both imported from England by misguided humans — suffer? John Kelly, Washington Post, "It’s going to be hard for me to complain about other people’s leaf blowers," 6 May 2018 This spring, baby birds (starting with starlings and sparrows and then songbirds such as robins, blue jays, cardinals and mockingbirds) will hatch. Kitson Jazynka,, "As spring arrives, what to do if you find a baby bird," 25 Apr. 2018 The team found that when the starling flew in a straight path, the predator was best off diving at roughly 150 kilometers per hour. Katie Langin, Science | AAAS, "Peregrine falcons maneuver best when dive-bombing at more than 300 kilometers per hour," 12 Apr. 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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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 \

Kids Definition of starling

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

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