Share this entry

Share this page

shrike

Line breaks: shrike
Pronunciation: /ʃrʌɪk
 
/

Definition of shrike in English:

noun

1A songbird with a strong sharply hooked bill, often impaling its prey of small birds, lizards, and insects on thorns. Also called butcher-bird.
Example sentences
  • Because their feet are not large or strong enough to hold prey, shrikes find a crotch in a tree, a thorn, or barbed wire to hang their prey on while they eat.
  • The horned lizard Phrynosoma mcalli apparently uses the horns on its head to deter the shrike, a bird fond of impaling lizards on thorns or barbed wire for later consumption.
  • Shrike babblers were originally described as shrikes, because of their hooked bill, but have been subsequently placed among babblers.
1.1Used in names of birds of other families that are similar to the shrike, e.g. cuckoo-shrike, pepper-shrike.

Origin

mid 16th century: perhaps related to Old English scrīc 'thrush' and Middle Low German schrīk 'corncrake', of imitative origin.

Definition of shrike in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day peart
Pronunciation: pərt
adjective
lively; cheerful