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Wrens

[renz] /rɛnz/
noun, (used with a singular or plural verb) Chiefly British Informal.
1.
the Women's Royal Naval Service: established in 1917 as an auxiliary to the Royal Navy.
Origin of Wrens
pronounced form of the initial letters, with placement of vowel suggested by wren

wren

[ren] /rɛn/
noun
1.
any of numerous small, active songbirds of the family Troglodytidae, especially Troglodytes troglodytes, of the Northern Hemisphere, having dark-brown plumage barred with black and a short, upright tail.
2.
any of various similar, unrelated birds, especially any of several Old World warblers.
Origin
before 900; Middle English wrenn(e), Old English wrenna, obscurely akin to Old High German wrendilo, Old Norse rindill

Wren

[ren] /rɛn/
noun
1.
Sir Christopher, 1632–1723, English architect.
2.
Percival Christopher, 1885–1941, English novelist.

Wren

[ren] /rɛn/
noun, (sometimes lowercase) Chiefly British Informal.
1.
a member of the Wrens.
Origin
1915-20
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Wrens
Historical Examples
  • They came under the elm and talked, and the young Wrens listened.

  • Wrens and sparrows are not too ignoble a quarry for this villainous gos-hawk!

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • The house shown in Fig. 51 is suitable for these birds but is also acceptable to Wrens.

    Bird Houses Boys Can Build Albert F. Siepert
  • The Wrens fluffed themselves, scolded it, and told it to get up.

    Greyfriars Bobby Eleanor Atkinson
  • By and by one of the Wrens flying near the new abode, pecked at a crumb.

  • The Wrens were a most devoted couple,—all in all, about the nicest birds on the place.

    Dooryard Stories Clara Dillingham Pierson
  • For instance, we had fourteen pairs of Wrens on a single acre, some of the nests being not more than fifteen feet apart.

  • Wrens have built their nests in plundered niche and idle capital.

    From Gretna Green to Land's End Katharine Lee Bates
  • Two Wrens upon a neighboring branch, tilted forward to watch them, the business of nest building for the moment forgotten.

    Out of the Ashes Ethel Watts Mumford
  • Brown leaves were rable leaves and chne leaves, and the brown birds were Wrens.

    The Story of Opal Opal Whiteley
British Dictionary definitions for Wrens

wren

/rɛn/
noun
1.
any small brown passerine songbird of the chiefly American family Troglodytidae, esp Troglodytes troglodytes (wren in Britain, winter wren in the US and Canada). They have a slender bill and feed on insects
2.
any of various similar birds of the families Muscicapidae (Australian warblers), Xenicidae (New Zealand wrens), etc
Word Origin
Old English wrenna, werna; related to Old High German wrendo, rentilo, Old Norse rindill

Wren1

/rɛn/
noun
1.
(history, informal) (in Britain and certain other nations) a member of the former Women's Royal Naval Service
Word Origin
C20: from the abbreviation WRNS

Wren2

/rɛn/
noun
1.
Sir Christopher. 1632–1723, English architect. He designed St Paul's Cathedral and over 50 other London churches after the Great Fire as well as many secular buildings
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 Wrens

wren

n.

Old English wrenna, metathesis variation of earlier werna, a West Germanic word of uncertain origin. Cf. Icelandic rindill, Old High German wrendo, wrendilo "wren." The bird's name in other languages usually denotes "royalty" (cf. Latin regulus), in reference to its golden crest.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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