Definition of robin in English:



  • 1A small Old World thrush related to the chats, typically having a brown back with red on the breast or other colourful markings.

    Erithacus and other genera, family Turdidae: numerous species, e.g. the familiar European robin or redbreast (E. rubecula), which has an orange-red face and breast

    • ‘Migrating from northern Europe to the Iberian Peninsula's cork forests are blackcaps, finches, robins, and song thrushes.’
    • ‘I'm told catnip keeps birds away from strawberries, and having lost most of mine to robins this year I'm going to try it.’
    • ‘In their study, the researchers compared two species of night-migratory songbirds - garden warblers and European robins - with two non-migratory songbirds - zebra finches and canaries.’
    • ‘It worked, but only up to a point, for this year's bumper crop has been almost entirely eaten by a family of robins.’
    • ‘As dawn breaks on a misty Welsh morning, the earliest birds to break into song are likely to include European robins, followed by blackbirds and song thrushes.’
  • 2Any of a number of birds that resemble the European robin, especially in having a red breast.

    a large New World thrush (genus Turdus, family Turdidae), in particular the American robin (T. migratorius).

    a small Australasian songbird related to the flycatchers (family Eopsaltridae, in particular genus Petroica).


Mid 16th century: from Old French, pet form of the given name Robert.