\ ˈren How to pronounce wren (audio) \

Definition of wren

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of a family (Troglodytidae) of small typically brownish oscine singing birds especially : a very small widely distributed bird (Troglodytes troglodytes) that has a short erect tail and is noted for its song
2 : any of various small singing birds resembling the true wrens in size and habits


biographical name
\ ˈren How to pronounce Wren (audio) \

Definition of Wren (Entry 2 of 2)

Sir Christopher 1632–1723 English architect

Illustration of wren

Illustration of wren


wren 1

In the meaning defined above

Examples of wren in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Typically, house wrens lay between three and 12 eggs. Ernie Cowan Outdoors, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Watching this miracle is television series of season," 21 Apr. 2018 Sandy Neck in Barnstable produced a clapper rail, a seaside sparrow, 16 saltmarsh sparrows, 2 willow flycatchers, a marsh wren, and 2 brown thrashers. BostonGlobe.com, "Bird sightings on Cape Cod," 24 June 2018 Birds that nest on or near the ground, like the house wren, push their young to leave early. National Geographic, "Birds That Leave Nest Too Late Can Endanger Their Families," 25 June 2018 The normal nesting period of house wrens is two weeks to 17 days. Ernie Cowan, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Seven for Seven - all the wren eggs hatch," 19 May 2018 Parent wrens would still bring food, but often not enter the nest box. Ernie Cowan, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Happily, but sadly too, the wrens fly from the nest," 26 May 2018 The paper looked at about a dozen songbird species, including the American robin, red-faced warbler, and other arboreal species, as well as ground-dwelling birds like the house wren and white-breasted nuthatch. National Geographic, "Birds That Leave Nest Too Late Can Endanger Their Families," 25 June 2018 As this wren has built a giant nest for her brood, complete with leftover bits of Christmas evergreen wreath and even some wayward dental floss, my own nest is shrinking. Lynn Petrak, chicagotribune.com, "Petrak: Mothering instincts — human and bird — in play during nesting season," 31 May 2018 Somewhere far off a marsh wren sang, but never showed itself. Taylor Piephoff, charlotteobserver, "Cowan’s Ford Wildlife Refuge is a perfect spot for leisurely birding | Charlotte Observer," 4 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wren.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of wren


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for wren


Middle English wrenne, from Old English wrenna; akin to Old High German rentilo wren

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about wren

Statistics for wren

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wren

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for wren



English Language Learners Definition of wren

: a small bird with brown feathers and a short tail that points upward


\ ˈren How to pronounce wren (audio) \

Kids Definition of wren

: a small brown songbird with a short tail that points upward

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on wren

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wren

Spanish Central: Translation of wren

Nglish: Translation of wren for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wren

Comments on wren

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


behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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