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titmouse

[tit-mous] /ˈtɪtˌmaʊs/
noun, plural titmice
[tit-mahys] /ˈtɪtˌmaɪs/ (Show IPA)
1.
any of numerous, widely distributed, small songbirds of the family Paridae, especially of the genus Parus, having soft, thick plumage and a short, stout, conical bill.
Compare tufted titmouse.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English tit(e)mose (see tit1); mose, Old English māse titmouse; cognate with German Meise titmouse, Old Norse meis- in meisingr kind of bird; modern mouse by folk etymology
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for titmice

titmouse

/ˈtɪtˌmaʊs/
noun (pl) -mice
1.
(usually pl) any small active songbird of the family Paridae, esp those of the genus Parus See tit1
Word Origin
C14 titemous, from tite (see tit1) + mouse
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 titmice

titmouse

n.

"small, active bird," early 14c., titmose, from tit (n.2), expressing something small, + Old English mase "titmouse," from Proto-Germanic *maison (cf. Dutch mees, German meise), from adj. *maisa- "little, tiny." Spelling influenced 16c. by unrelated mouse.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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