bird of passage


Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.

bird of passage

n. pl. birds of passage
1. A migratory bird.
2. A person who moves from place to place frequently.

bird of passage

n
1. (Zoology) a bird that migrates seasonally
2. a transient person or one who roams about

bird′ of pas′sage


n.
1. a bird that migrates seasonally.
2. a transient or migratory person.
[1785–95]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.bird of passage - someone who leads a wandering unsettled lifebird of passage - someone who leads a wandering unsettled life
traveler, traveller - a person who changes location
nomad - a member of a people who have no permanent home but move about according to the seasons
drifter, vagrant, vagabond, floater - a wanderer who has no established residence or visible means of support
2.bird of passage - any bird that migrates seasonallybird of passage - any bird that migrates seasonally  
bird - warm-blooded egg-laying vertebrates characterized by feathers and forelimbs modified as wings
References in classic literature ?
Whereas, I in com- parison, felt myself a mere bird of passage in that port.
Why, my Lady has been but poorly, ma'am, since she was last here-- I don't mean with the family, ma'am, but when she was here as a bird of passage like.
In Virginia Hamilton's The Magical Adventures of Pretty Pearl (Harper, 1983), Pearl, a goddess on Mount Kenya, looks across the ocean and sees the American slaves, and her strong empathy for them enables her to fly to them, transformed (or disguised) as a bird that rests atop a slavery ship (a bird of passage for the Middle Passage).