Definition of catbird in English:

catbird

Syllabification: cat·bird
Pronunciation: /ˈkatˌbərd
 
/

noun

1A long-tailed American songbird of the mockingbird family, with mainly dark gray or black plumage and catlike calls.
  • Two genera and species, family Mimidae, in particular the gray catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) of North America
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, typically with a loud call like a yowling cat. It does not generally construct bowers.
  • Genus Ailuroedus (and Scenopoeetes), family Ptilonorhynchidae: several species, in particular the green catbird (A. crassirostris)

Phrases

in the catbird seat

North American informal In a superior or advantageous position.
[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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