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[mey-vis] /ˈmeɪ vɪs/
noun, British (chiefly Literary) .
a song thrush.
Origin of mavis
1350-1400; Middle English mavys < Anglo-French mauviz, probably equivalent to ma(u)ve seagull (< Old English mæw mew2) + -iz of unclear orig.


[mey-vis] /ˈmeɪ vɪs/
a female given name. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mavis
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • From the portholes they could see the white bones of the mavis's crew lying on the reddish sand of the valley bottom.

    The Judas Valley Gerald Vance
  • He thought of the bleached bones of the crew of the mavis, and shuddered.

    The Judas Valley Gerald Vance
  • Peter dropped his hands to his sides and said happily, "Got any cookies for us, mavis?"

    Mavis of Green Hill Faith Baldwin
  • Rather an odd name, mavis, isnt it?I at last ventured to observe.

    The Sorrows of Satan Marie Corelli
  • Every morning mavis asked him for the boxes, and each time he either pretended to have forgotten or was ready with some excuse.

    A Fortunate Term Angela Brazil
British Dictionary definitions for mavis


a popular name for the song thrush
Word Origin
C14: from Old French mauvis thrush; origin obscure
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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Word Origin and History for mavis

"song thrush," c.1400, mavys, from Old French mauvis, of unknown origin; related to Spanish malvis. Breton milfid is a French loan word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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