One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Of, relating to, or designating kites, specifically those of the former group Milvini or (later) the subfamily Milvinae (family Accipitridae). rare.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in Nathan Bailey (d. 1742), lexicographer and schoolmaster. From classical Latin mīluīnus, adjective from mīluus bird of prey, kite (of unknown origin) + -īnus. In specific taxonomic use after scientific Latin Milvinae (also Milvini, † Milvines), subfamily name.
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