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From Middle English chirmen (to chirp, twitter), from Old English ċirman (to make a noise, cry out, shout), from Proto-Germanic *karmijaną (to make a sound).

The noun is from Middle English chirm (the call of various birds; chirping), from Old English ċirm, ċyrm, ċierm (noise, cry, alarm), from Proto-Germanic *karmiz. Doublet of charm (sound, voices; group, flock).


chirm (plural chirms)

  1. A din or confused noise, as of many voices, birdsong, etc.


chirm (third-person singular simple present chirms, present participle chirming, simple past and past participle chirmed)

  1. (obsolete) To chirp or to make a mournful cry, as a bird does.
    • 1552, Richard Huloet
      Chyrme or chur, as byrdes do.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for chirm in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)