\ ˈren \

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 \

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

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 Moving on the ground is more dangerous than moving in trees, so house wrens have higher chances of mortality. National Geographic, "Birds That Leave Nest Too Late Can Endanger Their Families," 25 June 2018 The tiny camera in our nestbox has given us an inside view of this miracle of life, and also some delightful insight into the behavior of the house wren. Ernie Cowan, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Visit the High Sierra with a trip to Palomar Mountain," 11 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.

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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

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

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More Definitions for wren



English Language Learners Definition of wren

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


\ ˈren \

Kids Definition of wren

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

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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

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someone who never drinks alcohol

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