Definition of shrike in English:


Syllabification: shrike
Pronunciation: /SHrīk


  • 1A songbird with a strong sharply hooked bill, often impaling its prey of small birds, lizards, and insects on thorns. Also called butcherbird.
    • Family Laniidae: several genera and numerous species, especially in Africa, e.g., the northern shrike (Lanius excubitor), of both Eurasia and North America
    More example sentences
    • Because their feet are not large or strong enough to hold prey, shrikes find a crotch in a tree, a thorn, or barbed wire to hang their prey on while they eat.
    • The horned lizard Phrynosoma mcalli apparently uses the horns on its head to deter the shrike, a bird fond of impaling lizards on thorns or barbed wire for later consumption.
    • Shrike babblers were originally described as shrikes, because of their hooked bill, but have been subsequently placed among babblers.
  • 1.1Used in names of birds similar to the shrike, e.g., peppershrike.


mid 16th century: perhaps related to Old English scrīc 'thrush' and Middle Low German schrīk 'corncrake', of imitative origin.

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Word of the day milord
Pronunciation: mɪˈlɔːd
used to address an English nobleman