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[spar-oh] /ˈspær oʊ/
any of numerous American finches of the family Emberizinae.
any member of the Old World genus Passer, formerly thought to be closely related to the weaverbirds but now placed in their own family, Passeridae.
British. the house sparrow.
any of several other unrelated small birds.
(initial capital letter) Military. a 12-foot (4-meter), all-weather, radar-guided U.S. air-to-air missile with an 88-pound (40-kg) high-explosive warhead.
before 900; Middle English sparowe, Old English spearwa; cognate with Gothic sparwa, Old Norse spǫrr
Related forms
sparrowless, adjective
sparrowlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for sparrow
  • The smaller birds include the yellow-fronted canary and the sparrow weaver.
  • Calculus baffled him, and some said he could not tell a lark from a sparrow.
  • Current prototypes include a sparrow-size flapping-wing craft and four-blade helicopter-style robots.
  • The same goes, of course, for any sparrow hen who fails to respond to potential mates singing the correct tune.
  • He makes the little sparrow chirping in the air preach to us.
  • He that rides at high speed and with his pistol kills a sparrow flying.
  • The depredations on the land of the nimble and ubiquitous sparrow find a counterpart in the sea in the porpoises.
  • Large sparrow named after its reddish-brown colored wings and tail.
British Dictionary definitions for sparrow


any weaverbird of the genus Passer and related genera, esp the house sparrow, having a brown or grey plumage and feeding on seeds or insects
(US & Canadian) any of various North American finches, such as the chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina), that have a dullish streaked plumage
adjective passerine
Derived Forms
sparrow-like, adjective
Word Origin
Old English spearwa; related to Old Norse spörr, Old High German sparo
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 sparrow

small brownish-gray bird, Old English spearwa, from Proto-Germanic *sparwan (cf. Old Norse spörr, Old High German sparo, German Sperling, Gothic sparwa), from PIE *sper- (cf. Cornish frau "crow;" Old Prussian spurglis "sparrow;" Greek spergoulos "small field bird," psar "starling"). Sparrowhawk is attested from c.1400. Sparrowfarts (1886) was Cheshire slang for "very early morning."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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sparrow in the Bible

Mentioned among the offerings made by the very poor. Two sparrows were sold for a farthing (Matt. 10:29), and five for two farthings (Luke 12:6). The Hebrew word thus rendered is _tsippor_, which properly denotes the whole family of small birds which feed on grain (Lev. 14:4; Ps. 84:3; 102:7). The Greek word of the New Testament is _strouthion_ (Matt. 10:29-31), which is thus correctly rendered.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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