9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[par-uh t] /ˈpær ət/
any of numerous hook-billed, often brilliantly colored birds of the order Psittaciformes, as the cockatoo, lory, macaw, or parakeet, having the ability to mimic speech and often kept as pets.
a person who, without thought or understanding, merely repeats the words or imitates the actions of another.
verb (used with object)
to repeat or imitate without thought or understanding.
to teach to repeat or imitate in such a fashion.
Origin of parrot
1515-25; apparently < Middle French P(i)errot, diminutive of Pierre (see parakeet), though a comparable sense of the French word is not known until the 18th century
Related forms
parrotlike, adjective
parroty, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for parrot
  • The chicken on the table, the pigeon on the street, the parrot in the zoo: all of them are living descendants of dinosaurs.
  • Those that parrot the party line get cited endlessly, those that go in a different direction get punished.
  • Likely the same conditions that selected for intelligence in nonhuman primates were at work in the parrot lineage.
  • Some of of us have, but apparently not ignorant journalists who parrot what corporate agriculture wants to peddle.
  • Macaws are beautiful, brilliantly colored members of the parrot family.
  • Snowball the dancing parrot shifts rhythm as music changes.
  • Polly the parrot always seems to want crackers when she is repeating the words of her human companions.
  • Note the fake parrot hitching a ride on the back and the patriotic flagpole.
  • We know this because when he looks at a parrot on a branch it turns into a roasted, steaming parrot on a branch.
  • The parrot represents the need to communicate, even if it's only squawks.
British Dictionary definitions for parrot


any bird of the tropical and subtropical order Psittaciformes, having a short hooked bill, compact body, bright plumage, and an ability to mimic sounds related adjective psittacine
a person who repeats or imitates the words or actions of another unintelligently
generally (facetious) sick as a parrot, extremely disappointed
verb -rots, -roting, -roted
(transitive) to repeat or imitate mechanically without understanding
Derived Forms
parrotry, noun
Word Origin
C16: probably from French paroquet; see parakeet
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 parrot

1520s, of uncertain origin, perhaps from dialectal Middle French perrot, from a variant of Pierre "Peter;" or perhaps a dialectal form of perroquet (see parakeet). Replaced earlier popinjay. The German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt in South America in 1800 encountered a very old parrot that was the sole speaker of a dead Indian language, the original tribe having gone extinct.


"repeat without understanding," 1590s, from parrot (n.). Related: Parroted; parroting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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