Definition of catbird in English:

catbird

Line breaks: cat|bird
Pronunciation: /ˈkatbəːd
 
/

noun

  • 1A long-tailed American songbird of the mockingbird family, with mainly dark grey or black plumage and catlike mewing calls.
    • Two genera and species, family Mimidae
    More example sentences
    • Not only is the Cape flush with cardinals, towhees, mockingbirds, catbirds, goldfinches and woodpeckers, its birds of the shore entice many a visitor here.
    • We saw lots of catbirds, blackbirds, mockingbirds, cardinals, crows, and grackles.
    • Although first cousin to the melodious mockingbird, a catbird's song is seldom musical.
  • 2A thickset Australasian bird of the bowerbird family, having a loud call like a yowling cat.
    • Genus Ailuroedus (and Scenopoeetes), family Ptilonorhynchidae: several species

Phrases

in the catbird seat

North American informal In a superior or advantageous position: we’ll stay in the catbird seat in international agriculture
[said to be an allusion to a baseball player in the fortunate position of having no strikes and therefore three balls still to play (a reference made in James Thurber's short story The Catbird Seat)]
More example sentences
  • For several years, design professionals sat in the catbird seat, able to parlay personnel shortages in a boom market into significant pay and benefit packages.
  • They enjoy being in the catbird seat, perched at a high elevation, with a commanding view of a vast expanse of open air, high above the landmass below.
  • ‘Michael wants to know how the view is up there in the catbird seat,’ Norris replied.

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