from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of various small New World finches of the family Emberizidae, having brownish or grayish plumage and including the song sparrow, white-throated sparrow, chipping sparrow, vesper sparrow, and other closely related species.
- n. Any of various birds of the family Passeridae, especially the house sparrow.
- n. Any of various similar or related birds, such as the Java sparrow.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The house sparrow, Passer domesticus; a small bird with a short bill, and brown, white and gray feathers.
- n. A member of the family Passeridae, comprising small Old World songbirds.
- n. A member of the family Emberizidae, comprising small New World songbirds.
- n. Generically, any small, nondescript bird.
- n. A quick-witted, lively person. Often used in the phrase cockney sparrow.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. One of many species of small singing birds of the family Fringilligæ, having conical bills, and feeding chiefly on seeds. Many sparrows are called also finches, and buntings. The common sparrow, or house sparrow, of Europe (Passer domesticus) is noted for its familiarity, its voracity, its attachment to its young, and its fecundity. See House sparrow, under house.
- n. Any one of several small singing birds somewhat resembling the true sparrows in form or habits, as the European hedge sparrow. See under Hedge.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The housesparrow, Passer domesticus, a fringilline bird of Europe, which has been imported and naturalized in America, Australia, and other countries.
- n. Some or any fringilline bird resembling the sparrow, as Passer montanus, the tree-sparrow; one of various finches and buntings, mostly of plain coloration.
- n. Some little bird likened to or mistaken for a sparrow.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. any of several small dull-colored singing birds feeding on seeds or insects
- n. small brownish European songbird
Middle English sparowe, from Old English spearwa.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English sparwe, sparowe, from Old English spearwa ("sparrow"), from Proto-Germanic *sparwô, *sparwaz (“sparrow”), from Proto-Indo-European *sper(w)-, *sper(g)- (“sparrow, bird”). Cognate with Dutch spreeuw ("sparrow"), Alemannic German Spar ("sparrow"), German Sperling ("sparrow"), Danish spurv ("sparrow"), Swedish sparv ("sparrow"), Breton frao ("crow"), Tocharian A spārāñ, Ancient Greek ψάρ (psar, "starling"). (Wiktionary)