Meaning of BIRD in English


bird S2 W2 /bɜːd $ bɜːrd/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: bridd ]

1 .

a creature with wings and feathers that can usually fly. Many birds sing and build nests, and female birds lay eggs:

wild birds

The dawn was filled with the sound of birds.

a flock of birds (=a group of birds flying together)

a wooden bird cage

2 . British English informal a word meaning a young woman, which some people think is offensive

3 . the birds and the bees the facts about sex – used humorously or to children

4 . a little bird told me (something) informal used to say that you know something, but you will not say how you found out:

A little bird told me that you’ve got engaged.

5 . birds of a feather (flock together) informal used to say that two or more people have similar attitudes, beliefs etc

6 . give somebody the bird

a) American English informal to make a very rude sign at someone by holding your middle finger up

b) British English to show strong disapproval of someone who is performing or speaking in public, by shouting, making rude noises etc

7 . a bird in the hand (is worth two in the bush) used to say that it is better to keep what you have than to risk losing it by trying to get more

8 . the bird has flown informal used to say that the person you are looking for has already left or escaped

9 . be (strictly) for the birds old-fashioned informal to be silly, useless, or not practical

10 . wise/wily/funny/weird etc old bird old-fashioned informal a person who seems wise, funny etc

11 . do bird British English old-fashioned informal to serve a prison sentence SYN do time

⇨ early bird at ↑ early 1 (9), ⇨ kill two birds with one stone at ↑ kill 1 (13)

• • •


■ types of bird

▪ a wild bird

Our organization aims to protect wild birds.

▪ a bird of prey (=that hunts and eats small animals)

A single bird of prey hovered overhead.

▪ a game bird (=that people shoot and eat)

They hunt game birds such as ducks and pheasants.

▪ a seabird/sea bird

Sea birds are often the victims of oil spills.

▪ a songbird (=that makes pleasant sounds in order to attract other birds)

Hedges provide good protection for songbirds.

▪ a migratory bird (=that moves to different regions for the summer and winter)

This route is taken by many migratory birds going south.

▪ a flightless bird (=that cannot fly)

The emu is a large flightless Australian bird.

■ phrases

▪ a flock of birds (=a large number of birds together)

Suddenly a flock of birds flew up into the sky.

■ bird + NOUN

▪ bird song (=musical sounds that birds make)

The forest is full of bird song at all times of the year.

▪ bird watching (=the activity of watching wild birds)

One of his hobbies is bird watching.

▪ a bird watcher

The coast path is a paradise for bird watchers.

■ verbs

▪ a bird flies

Some birds fly incredible distances.

▪ a bird soars (=flies very high in the sky)

We watched birds soar in the blue sky above.

▪ a bird swoops down (=it suddenly flies down)

The bird swoops down on its prey.

▪ a bird flaps its wings (=it moves its wings up and down)

The baby birds were trying to flap their wings.

▪ a bird sings (=makes musical sounds)

I woke up to hear the birds singing outside.

▪ a bird chirps/twitters (=makes short high sounds)

Birds chirped to one another from different branches of the tree.

▪ a bird squawks (=makes a loud unpleasant sound)

The bird in the cage started squawking.

▪ a bird builds a nest

By March many birds have already built nests.

▪ a bird nests

Many birds are nesting on the river banks.

▪ a bird lays its eggs

The bird lays a single egg on the ground.

▪ a bird pecks (at) something (=makes small movements with its head)

Some birds were pecking at the remains of a sandwich.

▪ a bird perches (=stands on a something above the ground)

Beautiful white birds perched on the tree's branches.

▪ a bird hops (=makes small jumping movements)

A small bird was hopping across the grass.

▪ a bird migrates

The birds migrate from South America to North American breeding grounds.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.