black-bird

blackbird

[blak-burd]
noun
1.
a common European thrush, Turdus merula, the male of which is black with a yellow bill.
2.
any of several American birds of the family Icteridae, having black plumage. Compare crow blackbird, red-winged blackbird, rusty blackbird.
3.
any of several other unrelated birds having black plumage in either or both sexes.
4.
(formerly) a person, especially a Kanaka, who was kidnapped and sold abroad, usually in Australia, as a slave.
verb (used with object)
5.
to kidnap (a person), as in blackbirding.
verb (used without object)
6.
to engage in blackbirding.

Origin:
1480–90; earlier blacke bride. See black, bird

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
blackbird (ˈblækˌbɜːd)
 
n
1.  a common European thrush, Turdus merula, in which the male has a black plumage and yellow bill and the female is brown
2.  any of various American orioles having a dark plumage, esp any of the genus Agelaius
3.  history a person, esp a South Sea Islander, who was kidnapped and sold as a slave, esp in Australia
 
vb
4.  (tr) (formerly) to kidnap and sell into slavery

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

blackbird
late 15c., from black + bird (1).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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