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a blackbird (Turdus merula)


From Middle English blakebird, blacbrid (ouzel; Eurasian blackbird), equivalent to black +‎ bird.



blackbird (plural blackbirds)

  1. A common true thrush, Turdus merula, found in woods and gardens over much of Eurasia, and introduced elsewhere.
  2. A variety of New World birds of the family Icteridae (26 species of icterid bird).
  3. (slang, derogatory, historical, among slavers and pirates) A native of the South Pacific islands.


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blackbird (third-person singular simple present blackbirds, present participle blackbirding, simple past and past participle blackbirded)

  1. To enslave someone, especially through chicanery or force
    • 2005, Wal F. Bird, Me No Go Mally Bulla: Recruiting and Blackbirding in the Queensland Labour Trade 1863–1906, published by Ginninderra Press, →ISBN, →ISBN
    • 2000, Kate Fortune; Brij V. Lal, The Pacific Islands: An Encyclopedia – Volume 1, University of Hawaiʻi, →ISBN, page 208:
      “At the same time, island communities — especially in coastal areas, where the effect of population loss was often enormous — sometimes retaliated against blackbirding raids.”

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