Definition of passerine in English:


Line breaks: pas¦ser|ine
Pronunciation: /ˈpasərʌɪn
, -riːn/


Relating to or denoting birds of a large order distinguished by having feet that are adapted for perching, including all songbirds.
More example sentences
  • These animals include rodents, passerine birds and arthropods.
  • Cracraft shows an unresolved three-way split between oscines (which form the large majority of passerine birds), suboscines, and New Zealand wrens.
  • We compared chromatic contrast (color used for short-range detection) of each pair of spider and flower to detection thresholds computed in the visual systems of both Hymenopteran prey and passerine bird predator.


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A passerine bird; a perching bird.
More example sentences
  • Divers, grebes, geese, ducks, raptors, auks and passerines are the most affected especially in very hard weather which results in the surface of lakes and reservoirs freezing.
  • Birds, particularly passerines, have served as the model system for testing many of the ideas on the evolution of begging.
  • We also saw the usual variety of gulls, raptors, woodpeckers, and passerines throughout the morning.

The order Passeriformes comprises more than half of all bird species, the remainder being known informally as the non-passerines. All passerines in Europe belong to the suborder Oscines (the oscine passerines), so that the term is effectively synonymous with ‘songbird’ there (see songbird). Those of the suborder Deutero-Oscines (the suboscine passerines) are found mainly in America


late 18th century: from Latin passer 'sparrow' + -ine1.

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