Sparrow Spar"row, n. [OE. sparwe, AS. spearwa; akin to OHG. sparo, G. sperling, Icel. sp["o]rr, Dan. spurv, spurre, Sw. sparf, Goth. sparwa; -- originally, probably, the quiverer or flutterer, and akin to E. spurn. See {Spurn}, and cf. {Spavin}.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) One of many species of small singing birds of the family {Fringillig[ae]}, 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}. [1913 Webster]

Note: The following American species are well known; the {chipping sparrow}, or {chippy}, the {sage sparrow}, the {savanna sparrow}, the {song sparrow}, the {tree sparrow}, and the {white-throated sparrow} (see {Peabody bird}). See these terms under {Sage}, {Savanna}, etc. [1913 Webster]

2. (Zo["o]l.) Any one of several small singing birds somewhat resembling the true sparrows in form or habits, as the European hedge sparrow. See under {Hedge}. [1913 Webster]

He that doth the ravens feed, Yea, providently caters for the sparrow, Be comfort to my age! --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{Field sparrow}, {Fox sparrow}, etc. See under {Field}, {Fox}, etc.

{Sparrow bill}, a small nail; a castiron shoe nail; a sparable.

{Sparrow hawk}. (Zo["o]l.) (a) A small European hawk ({Accipiter nisus}) or any of the allied species. (b) A small American falcon ({Falco sparverius}). (c) The Australian collared sparrow hawk ({Accipiter torquatus}).

Note: The name is applied to other small hawks, as the European kestrel and the New Zealand quail hawk.

{Sparrow owl} (Zo["o]l.), a small owl ({Glaucidium passerinum}) found both in the Old World and the New. The name is also applied to other species of small owls.

{Sparrow spear} (Zo["o]l.), the female of the reed bunting. [Prov. Eng.] [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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