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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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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Example sentences for blackbirds
They feed in flocks outside of the breeding season, sometimes with other blackbirds.
Experimental study of parental investment and polygyny in male blackbirds.
Birds such as blackbirds, and some mammals, will feed on the nutritious fruits in autumn.
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