Definition of murmuration in English:



  • 1The action of murmuring.

    ‘the murmuration of a flock of warblers’
    • ‘The way it builds from an initial murmuration of clarinets is not unlike the way Palimpsest I proceeds.’
    hum, humming, buzz, buzzing, whir, thrum, thrumming, drone, sigh
    View synonyms
  • 2rare A flock of starlings.

    • ‘These displays, known as murmurations, are a frequently observed but little understood phenomenon and can involve up to 3 million birds at a time; a vast squadron of cackling artists picking out geometric symphonies led on by forces we can't even begin to understand.’
    • ‘I mentioned to Bruce that his photo got the old gears turning and he responded by telling me about the " murmurations’ he was watching from his living room in the sky.’
    • ‘Once a murmuration gets this large, the best way to get rid of them is through a major concerted effort, as officials were doing Monday evening, he said.’
    • ‘Many of these, including tiding of magpies, murmuration of starlings, unkindness of ravens, and exaltation of larks, are poetic inventions that one can trace back to the fifteenth century.’


Late Middle English: from French, from Latin murmuratio(n-), from murmurare ‘to murmur’. The usage as a collective noun dates from the late 15th century.