There are 2 main definitions of merlin in English:


Line breaks: mer¦lin
Pronunciation: /ˈməːlɪn


A small dark falcon that hunts small birds, found throughout most of Eurasia and North America.
  • Falco columbarius, family Falconidae
More example sentences
  • As well as grouse watching, Dan and his colleagues also give informal tours around the reserve for young ornithologists keen to spot merlins, buzzards and ospreys.
  • They include pine marten, wildcat, stoat and weasel as well as golden eagles, merlin, peregrine falcon, golden plover and in time black grouse and capercaillie.
  • Fall, of course, is the best time to see migrants: peregrine falcons, merlins, and flocks of tree swallows at Assateague; northern gannets just offshore; and plenty of Canadian and snow geese soaring above.


late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French merilun, from Old French esmerillon, augmentative of esmeril, of Germanic origin; related to German Schmerl.

Definition of merlin in: