magpie


magpie
/mag"puy'/, n.
1. either of two corvine birds, Pica pica (black-billed magpie), of Eurasia and North America, or P. nuttalli (yellow-billed magpie), of California, having long, graduated tails, black-and-white plumage, and noisy, mischievous habits.
2. any of several related corvine birds.
3. any of several black-and-white birds not related to the true magpies, as Gymnorhina tibicen, of Australia.
4. an incessantly talkative person; noisy chatterer; chatterbox.
5. a person who collects or hoards things, esp. indiscriminately.
6. Western U.S. a black-and-white cow or steer, as a Holstein.
[1595-1605; Mag Margaret + PIE2]

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Any of several genera of long-tailed songbirds of the crow family (Corvidae).

The black-billed magpie (Pica pica) is 18 in. (45 cm) long and strikingly pied (black-and-white), with an iridescent blue-green tail. It is found in North Africa, across Eurasia, and in western North America. A bird of farmlands and tree-studded open country, it eats insects, seeds, small vertebrates, the eggs and young of other birds, and fresh carrion. It makes a large, round nest of twigs cemented with mud, and is known for hoarding small, bright objects. Other species (in the genera Cyanopica, Cissa, and Urocissa) include the brilliant blue or green magpies of Asia.

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bird
      any of several long-tailed birds belonging to the family Corvidae (order Passeriformes). The best-known species, often called the black-billed magpie (Pica pica), is a 45-centimetre (18-inch) black-and-white (i.e., pied) bird, with an iridescent blue-green tail. It occurs in northwestern Africa, across Eurasia, and in western North America. A bird of farmlands and tree-studded open country, it eats insects, seeds, small vertebrates, the eggs and young of other birds, and fresh carrion. It makes a large, round nest of twigs cemented with mud.

      Brilliant blue or green magpies in Asia include those of the genera Cyanopica, Cissa, and Urocissa. For Australasian magpies, see bell-magpie.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Magpie — Mag pie, n. [OE. & Prov. E. magot pie, maggoty pie, fr. Mag, Maggot, equiv. to Margaret, and fr. F. Marquerite, and common name of the magpie. Marguerite is fr. L. margarita pearl, Gr. ?, prob. of Eastern origin. See {Pie} magpie, and cf. the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Magpie — (engl. für „Elster“) bezeichnet: Magpie (Québec), Dorf in der Gemeinde Rivière Saint Jean in der Regionalgemeinde Minganie, Québec, Kanada Rivière Magpie, Nebenfluss des Sankt Lorenz Stroms in Québec, Kanada Magpie River, Fluss zum Oberen See in… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Magpie — ( Pie bavarde en français) est un village du Québec, au Canada, située sur la Cote Nord, entre Rivière au Tonnerre et Rivière Saint Jean. Il est une localité dans la municipalité de Rivière Saint Jean. Magpie compte près de 200 habitants[1].… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • magpie — (n.) the common European bird, known for its chattering, c.1600, earlier simply pie (early 13c.); first element from MAG (Cf. Mag), nickname for Margaret, long used in proverbial and slang English for qualities associated generally with women,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • magpie — ► NOUN 1) a long tailed bird of the crow family with pied plumage and a raucous voice. 2) a black and white Australian butcher bird with musical calls. 3) a person who obsessively collects things or who chatters idly. ORIGIN probably a shortening …   English terms dictionary

  • magpie — [mag′pī΄] n. [< Mag, dim. of MARGARET + PIE3] 1. any of several jaylike corvids, passerine birds characterized by black and white coloring, a long, tapering tail, and a habit of noisy chattering 2. a person who chatters 3. a person who… …   English World dictionary

  • Magpie — This article is about the birds in the family Corvidae. For the Australasian bird in the family Artamidae, see Australian Magpie. For other uses, see Magpie (disambiguation). Magpies European Magpie …   Wikipedia

  • magpie — /ˈmægpaɪ / (say magpuy) noun 1. Also, Australian magpie. a common black and white bird, Gymnorhina tibicen, with a solid body, strong legs, and a large pointed bill, found throughout Australia and in New Guinea, and noted for its beautiful song… …   Australian English dictionary

  • magpie — [17] The original name of the magpie was simply pie, which came via Old French from Latin pīca. This is thought to go back ultimately to Indo European *spi or *pi , denoting ‘pointedness’, in reference to its beak (the Latin masculine form, pīcus …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • magpie — [[t]mæ̱gpaɪ[/t]] magpies 1) N COUNT A magpie is a large black and white bird with a long tail. 2) N COUNT If you describe someone as a magpie, you mean that they like collecting and keeping things, often things that have little value. [INFORMAL]… …   English dictionary


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