wren

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wren / ren/ • n. 1. a small short-winged songbird found chiefly in the New World. • Family Troglodytidae: many genera and numerous species, in particular the very small Troglodytes troglodytes (winter wren), which has a short cocked tail and is the only wren that occurs the Old World. 2. any of a number of small songbirds that resemble the true wrens in size or appearance.

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wren the wren is proverbial for its small size. It was traditionally regarded as a sacred bird, and Pliny notes that there was antipathy between the wren and the eagle because the wren had been given the title of the ‘king of the birds’; this relates to the fable in which the wren concealed itself on the eagle's back, and could thus claim that it had flown higher than the eagle.

In the UK, Wren (as a partial acronym) is a name for a member of the former Women's Royal Naval Service.

See also the robin and the wren are God's cock and hen.

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wren Small, insect-eating songbird of temperate regions of Europe, Asia, and most of the New World. Many species have white facial lines. The typical winter wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) has a slender bill, upright tail, and dark brownish plumage; length: to 10cm (4in). Family Troglodytidae.

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wren OE. wrenna, wrænna, obscurely rel. to OHG. wrend(il)o, Icel. rindill.