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Borrowed from Old Occitan irondela, diminutive of irunda, ironda, ultimately from Latin hirundō. Replaced Old French arondelle, diminutive of aronde, from Latin hirundō (compare also harundō).


  • (mute h) IPA(key): /i.ʁɔ̃.dɛl/
  • (file)


hirondelle f (plural hirondelles)

  1. swallow (bird)
    • 1976, Michel Fugain et le Big Bazar, "Le printemps".
      L'hirondelle et la fauvette, c'est la forêt qui me l'a dit / L'hirondelle et la fauvette, ont déjà fait leur nid
      (please add an English translation of this quote)
  2. (printing) alignment mark printed in the margin
  3. (colloquial, dated) policeman on bicycle or motorcycle

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