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merle 1

also merl  (mûrl)

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin merulus, merula.]

merle 2

Having a coat with irregular streaks or speckles of a contrasting color. Used of certain dogs.
A dog with a merle coat.

[Perhaps from merle.]


(mɜːl; Scottish mɛrl) or


(Animals) Scot another name for the (European) blackbird
[C15: via Old French from Latin merula]


(Animals) (of a dog, esp a collie) having a bluish-grey coat with speckles or streaks of black. Often called: blue merle
[C20: from dialect mirlet, mirly speckled]


1. any of several birds of the New World subfamily Icterinae (family Emberizidae) having shiny black or mostly black plumage, as the red-winged blackbird.
2. a common European thrush, Turdus merula, the male of which is black with a yellow bill.
3. a Kanaka who was kidnapped and sold as a slave in Australia.
4. to kidnap Kanakas and sell them into slavery.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.merle - common black European thrushmerle - common black European thrush  
thrush - songbirds characteristically having brownish upper plumage with a spotted breast
genus Turdus, Turdus - type genus of the Turdidae
References in classic literature ?
The parties to this undertaking were John Holcomb, an apothecary; Wilson Merle, a lawyer, and Andrus C.
Holcomb and Merle at the "haunted house" a new snow had fallen to a depth of several inches upon the old.
"My Gawd!" protested Miss Merle Merryweather, the Accordion Girl, who looked like sixteen on the stage, but who, in private life among her grand-children, acknowledged forty-eight.