Definition of magpie in English:


Syllabification: mag·pie
Pronunciation: /ˈmagˌpī


  • 1A long-tailed crow with boldly marked (or green) plumage and a raucous voice.
    • Family Corvidae: five genera and several species, in particular the black-and-white black-billed magpie (Pica pica) of Eurasia and North America
    More example sentences
    • The corvines - crows, rooks, jays, magpies and jackdaws - are relentless stealers of other birds' eggs and chicks.
    • Long-eared Owls usually nest in abandoned stick nests, often the nests of magpies, crows, ravens, or hawks.
    • The brain-to-body ratio of crows, ravens and magpies equals that of dolphins and nearly matches humans.
  • 2Used in similes or comparisons to refer to a person who collects things, especially things of little use or value, or a person who chatters idly.
    More example sentences
    • The Eameses were magpie collectors of Americana - toys, tools, quilts, cotton reels, primitive paintings - and this love affair shines through their short films.
    • They are very far from being traditional; they are magpie collectors of everything that might suit them, and that includes rhetoric.
    • We are living in a society based on the concept of ownership; a magpie culture.


late 16th century: probably shortening of dialect maggot the pie, maggoty-pie, from Magot (Middle English nickname for the given name Marguerite) + pie2.

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