Skip to main content
Select Source:

robin

robin a small brown bird with a red breast, which legendarily was coloured by the blood of Christ. The robin is traditionally taken as a harbinger of death; there was also a tradition that robins would cover the bodies of the unburied dead with leaves. The name comes (in late Middle English, as robin redbreast) from Old French, pet form of the given name Robert.
the robin and the wren are God's cock and hen; the martin and the swallow are God's mate and marrow proverbial saying, late 18th century (marrow in the second line means ‘companion’); there was a traditional belief that the robin and the wren were sacred birds, and that to harm them in any way would be unlucky.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"robin." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"robin." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/robin

"robin." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/robin

robin

rob·in / ˈräbən/ • n. 1. a large New World thrush (genus Turdus) that typically has a reddish breast. Its numerous species include the familiar American robin (T. migratorius). 2. any of a number of other birds that resemble the American robin, esp. in having a red breast, in particular a small Old World thrush (Erithacus and other genera) related to the chats, typically having a brown back with red on the breast or other colorful markings. Its numerous species include the European robin (E. rubecula).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"robin." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"robin." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/robin-1

"robin." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/robin-1

robin

robin small red-breasted bird. XVI. Short for r. redbreast (XV), both being Sc. in their earliest use. — OF. Robin, familiar var. of the masculine name Robert (used XV for ‘robin’). In round r. (XVIII) the adj. describes the circular unpunctuated list of names on the document; the reference of the sb. is unkn.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"robin." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"robin." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/robin-2

"robin." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/robin-2

robin

robinagin, akin, begin, Berlin, bin, Boleyn, Bryn, chin, chin-chin, Corinne, din, fin, Finn, Flynn, gaijin, gin, Glyn, grin, Gwyn, herein, Ho Chi Minh, in, inn, Jin, jinn, kin, Kweilin, linn, Lynn, mandolin, mandoline, Min, no-win, pin, Pinyin, quin, shin, sin, skin, spin, therein, thin, Tientsin, tin, Tonkin, Turin, twin, underpin, Vietminh, violin, wherein, whin, whipper-in, win, within, Wynne, yin •weigh-in • lutein • lie-in • Samhain •Bowen, Cohen, Owen, throw-in •heroin, heroine •benzoin •bruin, ruin, shoo-in •Bedouin • Islwyn •genuine, Menuhin •cabin, Scriabin •Portakabin • sin bin • swingbin •bobbin, dobbin, robin •haemoglobin (US hemoglobin) •Reuben • dubbin • dustbin • Jacobin •kitchen, lichen •Cochin • urchin

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"robin." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 18 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"robin." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 18, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/robin-0

"robin." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 18, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/robin-0