Definition of oscine in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɒsʌɪn/
Pronunciation: /ˈɒsɪn/


Relating to or denoting passerine birds of a large division that includes the songbirds. Compare with suboscine.
  • Suborder Oscines, order Passeriformes.
Example sentences
  • The ability of territorial oscine males to discriminate between songs of neighbors and strangers has received considerable attention, but this phenomenon is virtually unstudied in suboscines.
  • A possible explanation for this apparent limited interest is that oscine song, the dominant model for avian acoustic studies, is learned.
  • In many oscine species, song or syllable repertoire size increases from young to older birds, although not in all studies.


An oscine bird.
Example sentences
  • Cracraft shows an unresolved three-way split between oscines (which form the large majority of passerine birds), suboscines, and New Zealand wrens.
  • In addition, intrinsic individual variation, including learned cultural differences in oscines, provides the raw material for vocal divergence through drift or selection.
  • Blue-throated Hummingbirds show convergence with oscines in vocal complexity, song organization, song function, and possible learning of some song elements.


Late 19th century: from Latin oscen, oscin- 'songbird' + -ine1.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: os¦cine

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