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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
      The swallow and the warbler, it's the forest that told me / The swallow and the warbler have already made their nests
  2. (printing) alignment mark printed in the margin
  3. (colloquial, dated) policeman on a bicycle or motorcycle

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