Definition of sparrow in English:



  • 1A small finch-like Old World bird related to the weaver birds, typically with brown and grey plumage.

    • ‘Stop sparrows and finches from shredding crocus blossoms by placing foil pinwheels - the kind sold for children's Easter baskets - every few feet among the flowers.’
    • ‘While we don't have tall trees, our neighbors do, and the firs and oaks that surround our property drop acorns and provide homes for jays, woodpeckers, robins and sparrows.’
    • ‘Some landscapes these days have been reduced to nothing but dandelions and fire ants, knapweed and thistle, where the only remaining wildlife are sparrows, squirrels, and starlings.’
    • ‘There is nothing to see except blackbirds and sparrows; nothing to hear except the noise of butterflies' wings.’
    • ‘Growing up, I was fascinated by birds and my mother encouraged this by letting me feed sparrows on the fire-escape outside our window.’
    • ‘I saw one bird, a tiny sparrow darting through the gnarled pine limbs.’
    • ‘The branches serve as a handy perch for the sparrows and mourning doves that frequent my city bird feeder.’
    • ‘An injured sparrow or a bird dressed for a dining table distresses her as much as war among nations and nuclear experiments do.’
    • ‘Game birds, mockingbirds, robins, and sparrows enjoy the juicy, sticky red fruits.’
    • ‘One sparrow box can house up to 36 baby sparrows in a year.’
    • ‘Crows and sparrows have been known to attack innocent passers-by who happen to stroll near their nests.’
    • ‘Most folks start with a feeder or two and quickly find themselves engrossed with the resident sparrows, finches, and woodpeckers that eagerly accept the offerings.’
    • ‘With a beat of her tiny brown wings, the sparrow was on her way.’
    • ‘He fed sparrows and grosbeaks on a seed tray mounted on a pole to be visible from his windows.’
    • ‘Everything from the modest sparrow to the extravagant scarlet macaw came to perch and settle around her.’
    • ‘Budgies, finches, sparrows and canaries are only a few of the more than one hundred kinds of birds people keep in their apartments.’
    • ‘All wild birds (except pigeons, English sparrows and starlings) are protected by federal and state laws, so it's illegal to trap, kill or poison them.’
    • ‘It was a light gray and it had a large black beak, more like a hawk's than a sparrow's.’
    • ‘Smaller birds such as pigeons, thrushes, jackdaws, robins and sparrows would also have been seen on a regular basis.’
    • ‘A couple of sparrows who had been peacefully resting on the grey rocks abruptly flew off.’
  • 2[usually with modifier] Any of a number of birds that resemble true sparrows in size or colour.


Old English spearwa, of Germanic origin.