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merle1

or merl

[murl] /mɜrl/
noun, Chiefly Scot.
1.
the blackbird, Turdus merula.
Origin of merle1
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English merule < Middle French < Latin merulus, merula ousel, blackbird

merle2

[murl] /mɜrl/
noun
1.
a bluish gray color mottled with black.
adjective
2.
being the color merle.
Origin
1900-05; origin uncertain

Merle

[murl] /mɜrl/
noun
1.
a male or female given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for merle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • No, I think not, thoughtfully merle raises a dusky purple grape to her crimson lips.

    Twos and Threes G. B. Stern
  • merle Uthoug has come back from the mountains—engaged to be married.

    The Great Hunger Johan Bojer
  • And merle went about trying to make believe that Louise was only going on a short visit, and would soon be coming back.

    The Great Hunger Johan Bojer
  • One day he was sitting in the hotel, reading, when merle came in.

    The Great Hunger Johan Bojer
  • merle stood over against the table, and as he spoke one of his hands picked up the nearest weapon.

    Old Broadbrim Into the Heart of Australia Author of "Old Broadbrim"
British Dictionary definitions for merle

merle1

/mɜːl; Scottish mɛrl/
noun
1.
(Scot) another name for the (European) blackbird
Word Origin
C15: via Old French from Latin merula

merle2

/mɜːl/
adjective
1.
(of a dog, esp a collie) having a bluish-grey coat with speckles or streaks of black Often called blue merle
Word Origin
C20: from dialect mirlet, mirly speckled
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 merle
n.

"blackbird," late 15c., from Old French merle "blackbird" (12c.), from Latin merulus "blackbird," from PIE *ams- "black, blackbird" (cf. Old English osle "blackbird;" see ouzel). The word owes its survival in modern times to its use by Scottish poets. The Latin word shows effects of rhotacism. It also is the source of Provençal and Spanish merla, Portuguese merlo, and Italian merla. Borrowed from French are Middle Dutch and German merle, Dutch meerle.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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