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Meaning of blackbird

black•bird

Pronunciation: (blak'bûrd"), [key]
— n.
  1. a common European thrush, Turdus merula, the male of which is black with a yellow bill.
  2. any of several American birds of the family Icteridae, having black plumage. Cf. crow blackbird, red-winged blackbird, rusty blackbird.
  3. any of several other unrelated birds having black plumage in either or both sexes.
  4. (formerly) a person, esp. a Kanaka, who was kidnapped and sold abroad, usually in Australia, as a slave.
—v.t.
  1. to kidnap (a person), as in blackbirding.
—v.i.
  1. to engage in blackbirding.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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