parrot

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English[edit]

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A parrot

Etymology[edit]

First attested in 1525. From Middle French perrot, either a diminutive of Pierre or a shortened form of perroquet. Compare French pierrot and Occitan parrat. A number of origins have been suggested for perroquet, such as Spanish periquito and Italian parrocchetto. The relationship between these various words is disputed. Replaced earlier popinjay.

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Noun[edit]

parrot (plural parrots)

  1. A kind of bird, many species of which are colourful and able to mimic human speech, of the order Psittaciformes.
    I bought a wonderful parrot at the pet store.
    • 1857, Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit, book 1, chapter 33
      Mrs Merdle was at home, and was in her nest of crimson and gold, with the parrot on a neighbouring stem watching her with his head on one side, as if he took her for another splendid parrot of a larger species.
    1. The true parrots, of the family Psittacidae.
  2. A parroter; a person who repeats what was just said.
    What kind of a parrot are you? He just said that.
    • 1837, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The American Scholar,
      In this distribution of functions, the scholar is the delegated intellect. In the right state, he is, Man Thinking. In the degenerate state, when the victim of society, he tends to become a mere thinker, or, still worse, the parrot of other men’s thinking.
  3. (archaic) A puffin.
  4. (geology, obsolete) Channel coal.

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parrot (third-person singular simple present parrots, present participle parroting, simple past and past participle parroted or parrotted)

  1. (transitive) To repeat (exactly what has just been said) without necessarily showing understanding, in the manner of a parrot.
    • 1996, Bill Clinton, Presidential Radio Address (15 June)
      So when political leaders parrot the tobacco company line, say cigarettes are not necessarily addictive, and oppose our efforts to keep tobacco away from our children, they continue to cater to powerful interests, but they're not standing up for parents and children.

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