Share this entry
nightingale Syllabification: night·in·gale
Pronunciation: /ˈnītnˌɡāl/

Definition of nightingale in English:


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'.

Definition of nightingale in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources