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bird of paradise

any of several passerine birds of the family Paradisaeidae, of New Guinea and adjacent islands, the males of which have ornate, colorful plumage.
Origin of bird of paradise


[burd-uh v-par-uh-dahys, -dahyz] /ˈbɜrd əvˈpær əˌdaɪs, -ˌdaɪz/
noun, plural birds-of-paradise.
Also called bird-of-paradise flower. any of several plants of the genus Strelitzia, native to southern Africa, especially S. reginae, having a large, showy orange and blue inflorescence.
a small tree or shrub, Caesalpinia (Poinciana) gilliesii, native to South America, having featherlike leaves and showy yellow flowers with red stamens.

Bird of Paradise

noun, Astronomy
the constellation Apus.
1650-60 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for bird-of-paradise
Historical Examples
  • Even beauty paled before the lovely female voice singing in the middle of the note—the nightingale killed the bird-of-paradise.

    Trilby George Du Maurier
  • He might as soon have expected a bird-of-paradise to live by choice in a coal-bunker.

    Gordon Keith Thomas Nelson Page
  • A white heron, with bird-of-paradise feathers on its back, was occasionally seen, but only one specimen procured.

  • He wore a red Turkish fez, with an immense rosette of brilliants, and a long, floating plume of bird-of-paradise feathers.

    The Lands of the Saracen Bayard Taylor
  • He fastens them on to cards—he's got a bird-of-paradise plume, an awful beauty.

    A Christmas Child Mrs. Molesworth
  • No beautifulest Poet is a bird-of-paradise, living on perfumes; sleeping in the æther with outspread wings.

    Past and Present Thomas Carlyle
  • I suspect that the sweetheart of one of our Filipino cabin-boys is now wearing a hat fairly smothered in bird-of-paradise plumes.

    Where the Strange Trails Go Down E. Alexander Powell
  • They were profoundly flattered by the visit of this bird-of-paradise.

    The Roll-Call Arnold Bennett
  • So does Mrs. Buscarlet, who is radiant in pink satin and a bird-of-paradise as a crown.

    Molly Bawn Margaret Wolfe Hamilton
British Dictionary definitions for bird-of-paradise

bird of paradise

any songbird of the family Paradisaeidae of New Guinea and neighbouring regions, the males of which have brilliantly coloured ornate plumage
bird-of-paradise flower, any of various banana-like plants of the genus Strelitzia, esp S. reginae, that are native to tropical southern Africa and South America and have purple bracts and large orange or yellow flowers resembling birds' heads: family Strelitziaceae
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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