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passerine Syllabification: pas·ser·ine
Pronunciation: /ˈpasərin/ /-ˌrīn/

Definition of passerine in English:


Of, relating to, or denoting birds of a large order distinguished by feet that are adapted for perching, including all songbirds.
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.

The order Passeriformes comprises more than half of all bird species, the remainder being known informally as the nonpasserines. 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

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.


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

Words that rhyme with passerine

viperine • catarrhine

Definition of passerine in:

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