One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Lacking song or songs; not singing.
2Designating a bird that does not sing, or that does not have a characteristic or melodious song. Also (Ornithology): †designating a passerine bird that is not a songbird (oscine passerine) (obsolete).
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in The London Magazine. From song + -less.
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