Definition of nightingale in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈnītnˌɡāl/
Pronunciation: /ˈnīdiNGˌɡāl/


Image of nightingale
A small European thrush with drab brownish plumage, noted for the rich melodious song of the male, heard especially at night in breeding season.
  • Luscinia megarhynchos, subfamily Turdinae, family Muscicapidae.
Example sentences
  • But diet extends to a selection of birds including warblers and even swallows, wheatears and nightingales.
  • In a bit of incredible but completely appropriate timing, the Fisherman sings ‘Oh, God above, how beautiful it is’ as the nightingale's song is heard.
  • Reich had the bird breeder's equivalent of a green thumb, and was known among bird hobbyists for training canaries to sing the song of the nightingale.


Old English nihtegala, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch nachtegaal and German Nachtigall, from the base of night and a base meaning 'sing'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: night·in·gale

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