Blackbird



a common European thrush, Turdus merula, the male of which is black with a yellow bill.
any of several American birds of the family Icteridae, having black plumage.
Compare crow blackbird, red-winged blackbird, rusty blackbird.
any of several other unrelated birds having black plumage in either or both sexes.
(formerly) a person, especially a Kanaka, who was kidnapped and sold abroad, usually in Australia, as a slave.
to kidnap (a person), as in blackbirding.
to engage in blackbirding.
Contemporary Examples

My Gaza Flotilla Diary Henning Mankell June 3, 2010
America’s New Mercenaries Tim Shorrock December 14, 2010
America’s New Mercenaries Tim Shorrock December 14, 2010
Meet Mitt Romney’s Trusted Envoy to the Dark Side, Cofer Black Eli Lake April 10, 2012

Historical Examples

Petticoat Rule Emmuska Orczy, Baroness Orczy
The Boy Who Knew What The Birds Said Padraic Colum
What the Blackbird said Mrs. Frederick Locker
Fraternity John Galsworthy
The Job Sinclair Lewis
The Toilers of the Field Richard Jefferies

noun
a common European thrush, Turdus merula, in which the male has a black plumage and yellow bill and the female is brown
any of various American orioles having a dark plumage, esp any of the genus Agelaius
(history) a person, esp a South Sea Islander, who was kidnapped and sold as a slave, esp in Australia
verb
(transitive) (formerly) to kidnap and sell into slavery
n.

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