can-aries

canary

[kuh-nair-ee]
noun, plural canaries.
1.
any of several Old World finches of the genus Serinus, especially S. canaria (common canary) native to the Canary Islands and often kept as a pet, in the wild being greenish with brown streaks above and yellow below and in domesticated varieties usually bright yellow or pale yellow.
2.
Also called canary yellow. a light, clear yellow color.
3.
Slang. informer ( def 1 ).
4.
Slang. a female singer, especially with a dance band.
5.
a sweet white wine of the Canary Islands, resembling sherry.
6.
a yellow diamond.
adjective
7.
having the color canary.

Origin:
1585–95; < Spanish (Isla) Canaria < Latin Canāria (insula) Dog (Island), equivalent to can(is) dog + -āria, feminine of -ārius -ary

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World English Dictionary
canary (kəˈnɛərɪ)
 
n , pl -naries
1.  a small finch, Serinus canaria, of the Canary Islands and Azores: a popular cagebird noted for its singing. Wild canaries are streaked yellow and brown, but most domestic breeds are pure yellow
2.  See canary yellow
3.  (Austral) history a convict
4.  archaic a sweet wine from the Canary Islands similar to Madeira
 
[C16: from Old Spanish canario of or from the Canary Islands]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

canary
type of small songbird, 1650s (short for Canary-bird, 1570s), from Fr. canarie, from Sp. canario "canary bird," lit. "of the Canary Islands," from L. Insula Canaria "Canary Island," largest of the Fortunate Isles, lit. "island of dogs," (canis, gen. canarius) so called because large dogs lived there.
The name was extended to the whole island group (Canariæ Insulæ) by the time of Arnobius (c.300). As a type of wine (from the Canary Islands) from 1580s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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