Definition of oscine in English:


Line breaks: os¦cine
Pronunciation: /ˈɒsʌɪn
, -sɪn/


  • Relating to or denoting passerine birds of a large division that includes the songbirds. Compare with suboscine.
    • Suborder Oscines, order Passeriformes
    More 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.


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  • An oscine bird.
    More 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.

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