canary
noun (plural canaries) Etymology: Middle French canarie, from Old Spanish canario, from Islas Canarias Canary Islands Date: 1584 1. a Canary Islands usually sweet wine similar to Madeira 2. a lively 16th century court dance 3. a small finch (Serinus canarius syn. S. canaria) of the Canary Islands that is usually greenish to yellow and is kept as a cage bird and singer 4. slang informer 2

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Canary — Ca*na ry, a. [F. Canarie, L. Canaria insula one of the Canary islands, said to be so called from its large dogs, fr. canis dog.] 1. Of or pertaining to the Canary Islands; as, canary wine; canary birds. [1913 Webster] 2. Of a pale yellowish… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Canary — Ca*na ry, n.; pl. {Canaries}. 1. Wine made in the Canary Islands; sack. A cup of canary. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. A canary bird. [1913 Webster] 3. A pale yellow color, like that of a canary bird. [1913 Webster] 4. A quick and lively dance. [Obs.]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • canary — type of small songbird, 1650s (short for Canary bird, 1570s), from Fr. canarie, from Sp. canario canary bird, lit. of the Canary Islands, from L. Insula Canaria Canary Island, largest of the Fortunate Isles, lit. island of dogs, (canis, gen.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • canary — [kə ner′ē] n. pl. canaries [Fr canarie < Sp canario < L Canaria (insula), Canary (island), lit., island of dogs < canis dog (see HOUND1): so called from its large dogs] 1. a small, yellow finch (Serinus canaria) native to the Canary… …   English World dictionary

  • Canary — Ca*na ry, v. i. To perform the canary dance; to move nimbly; to caper. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] But to jig of a tune at the tongue s end, canary to it with your feet. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • canary — ► NOUN (pl. canaries) 1) a bright yellow finch with a melodious song, popular as a cage bird. 2) (also canary yellow) a bright yellow colour. ORIGIN from the Canary Islands, to which one species of the bird is native; the name of the islands is… …   English terms dictionary

  • Canary — Taxobox name = Canary image width = 240px image caption = status = LC status system = iucn3.1 status ref = [IUCN2006|assessors=BirdLife International|year=2004|id=53391|title=Serinus canaria|downloaded=12 May 2006 Database entry includes… …   Wikipedia

  • canary — /keuh nair ee/, n., pl. canaries, adj. n. 1. any of several Old World finches of the genus Serinus, esp. S. canaria (common canary), native to the Canary Islands and often kept as a pet, in the wild being greenish with brown streaks above and… …   Universalium

  • canary — n. (pl. ies) 1 any of various small finches of the genus Serinus, esp. S. canaria, a songbird native to the Canary Islands, with mainly yellow plumage. 2 hist. a sweet wine from the Canary Islands. Phrases and idioms: canary coloured coloured… …   Useful english dictionary

  • canary — I. /kəˈnɛəri / (say kuh nairree) noun (plural canaries) 1. Also, canary bird. a bird, Serinus canarius, family Fringillidae, native to the Canary Islands, often kept as a pet; originally of a brownish or greenish colour, but through modification… …   Australian English dictionary

  • canary — noun (plural canaries) 1》 a bright yellow finch with a melodious song, popular as a cage bird. [Serinus canaria (Canary Islands, Azores, and Madeira) and related species in Africa.] 2》 (also canary yellow) a bright yellow colour. 3》 historical a… …   English new terms dictionary

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