One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A tree-dwelling Old World bird of which the male typically has bright yellow and black plumage.
Family Oriolidae and genus Oriolus: many species, including the golden oriole
- ‘First up was a bright yellow, black headed oriole which was given a new ring, as it had none.’
- ‘Despite brilliant colouring, orioles are often difficult to see slipping through the foliage where sun, shade and trembling leaves create a broken pattern of black and yellow - perfect for hiding from prying eyes.’
- ‘The buntings, orioles, hummingbirds, and many other warblers have yet to arrive.’
- ‘If you want to lure woodpeckers, hummingbirds, or orioles to your yard, invest in specialized feeders.’
- ‘Shade plantations also provide homes to seasonal migrants like warblers, orioles, tanagers, and hummingbirds.’
2A New World bird of the American blackbird family, with black and orange or yellow plumage.
Genus Icterus, family Icteridae (sometimes called the American oriole family): many species
- ‘Omland, Lanyon, and Fritz also found that it was important to sample more than one individual to accurately infer species relationships in New World orioles.’
- ‘The oriole families then commence the perilous journey to tropical Africa running the gauntlet of the trappers en route.’
- ‘I can't prove it, but I presume that this is the same family of hooded orioles that visits our neighborhood each year.’
- ‘I see evidence of nesting by fox squirrels, blue jays, American robins, and Baltimore orioles.’
- ‘Although I have tried every year to attract orioles to orange halves placed in a container meant just for that purpose, I've not met with success.’
Late 18th century: from medieval Latin oriolus (in Old French oriol), from Latin aureolus, diminutive of aureus ‘golden’, from aurum ‘gold’.
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