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.
- 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.
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")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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