/awr"ee ohl', ohr"-/, n.
1. any of several usually brightly colored, passerine birds of the family Oriolidae, of the Old World. Cf. golden oriole.
2. any of several brightly colored passerine birds of the family Icteridae, of the New World. Cf. northern oriole, orchard oriole.
[1770-80; < F oriol, OF < ML oriolus, var. of L aureolus golden, equiv. to aure(us) golden (deriv. of aurum gold) + -olus -OLE1]

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Any songbird of 24 species in the Old World genus Oriolus (family Oriolidae) or 30 species in the New World genus Icterus (family Icteridae).

Males typically are black and yellow or black and orange, with some white. Females are less colourful. Orioles are not easily seen but may be detected by their loud whistling and jarring notes. All are insect eaters (several species also eat fruit) in woodlands and gardens, chiefly in warm regions. The only European species is the 9.5-in. (24-cm) golden oriole (O. oriolus). Other Oriolus species are found in Africa, Asia, and Australia. The Baltimore oriole (I. galbula) breeds in North America east of the Rocky Mountains.

Golden oriole (Oriolus oriolus)

(Top) H. Schrempp
Bruce Coleman Inc., (bottom) R. Austing
Bruce Coleman Inc.

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 any of 24 species of birds of the Old World genus Oriolus, family Oriolidae, or, in the New World, any of the 30 species of Icterus, family Icteridae. Both are families of perching birds (order Passeriformes). Males of either group typically are black and yellow or black and orange, with some white. Females tend to be plainer. They are shy and not easily seen in the treetops but may be detected by their loud whistling and jarring notes. All are insect eaters (several species also take much fruit) in woodlands and gardens, chiefly in warm regions.

      The only European species is the 24-centimetre (9.5-inch) golden oriole (O. oriolus), which ranges eastward to Central Asia and India. It is yellow, with black-eye marks and black wings. The African golden oriole (O. auratus) is similar. The maroon oriole (O. traillii) of the Himalayas to Indochina is one of the Asian species of oriole that have a glowing crimson colouring instead of the ordinary yellow one. Northern Australia has the yellow oriole (O. flavicinctus), which is strictly a fruit-eater.

      The icterids of the New World were first called orioles by the early American settlers because the birds' black-and-yellow patterns resembled those of the true orioles of Europe. Among the icterids is the well-known Baltimore oriole (I. galbula), which breeds in North America east of the Rockies; it is black, white, and golden orange. In western North America is the closely related Bullock's oriole (I. bullockii). The orchard oriole (I. spurius), black and chestnut, occurs over the eastern United States and Mexico. Among the tropical forms of icterids are the epaulet oriole (I. cayanensis) and the troupial (I. icterus).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Oriole — O ri*ole, n. [OF. oriol, oriouz, orieus, F. loriot (for l oriol), fr. L. aureolus golden, dim. of aureus golden, fr. aurum gold. Cf. {Aureole}, {Oriel}, {Loriot}.] (Zo[ o]l.) (a) Any one of various species of Old World singing birds of the family …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • oriole — [ôr′ē ōl΄, ōr′ē ōl΄] n. [OFr oriol < ML aureolus < L, golden, dim. of aureus < aurum, gold: see EAST] 1. any of an Old World family (Oriolidae) of chiefly yellow and black passerine birds, including the golden oriole ( Oriolus oriolus) 2 …   English World dictionary

  • oriole — 1776, from Fr. oriol, O.Prov. auriol, from L. aureolus golden, from PIE *aus gold. Originally in ref. to the Golden Oriole (Oriolus galbula), a bird of black and yellow plumage that summers in Europe (but is uncommon in England). Applied from… …   Etymology dictionary

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  • Oriole — This article is about Old World bird family. For American orioles, see New World oriole. For other uses, see Oriole (disambiguation). Oriolidae Black naped Oriole …   Wikipedia

  • oriole — /ˈɔrioʊl / (say awreeohl) noun 1. any bird of the family Oriolidae, mostly bright yellow with black on the head, wings, and tail, as the golden oriole, Oriolus oriolus, and the olive backed oriole, O. sagittatus. 2. any of various brightly… …   Australian English dictionary

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