One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A songbird of the swallow family ("Hirundinidae").
- ‘The house-martin is a socially monogamous and monomorphic hirundine.’
- ‘In fact only during cool, wet or windy conditions will all the hirundines and the swift be found feeding together.’
- ‘We have now investigated the selection pressures acting on tail morphology in a variety of hirundine species, and obtained highly consistent results.’
Mid 19th century: from Latin hirundo ‘swallow’ + -ine.
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