200 pxA male sparrow (Passer domesticus)



  • The house sparrow, Passer domesticus; a small bird with a short bill, and brown, white and gray feathers.
  • A member of the family Passeridae, comprising small Old World songbirds.
  • A member of the family Emberizidae, comprising small New World songbirds.
  • Generically, any small, nondescript bird.
  • A quick-witted, lively person. Often used in the phrase cockney sparrow.


Similar words


  • From Middle English sparwe, sparowe, from Old English spearwa, from Proto-West Germanic *sparwō, from Proto-Germanic *sparwô, from Proto-Indo-European *spḗr ("sparrow").
  • Cognate with Dutch spreeuw ("starling"), Alemannic German Spar ("sparrow"), German Sperling ("sparrow"), Danish and Norwegian Bokmål spurv ("sparrow"), Norwegian Nynorsk sporv ("sparrow"), Swedish sparv ("sparrow"), Breton frao ("crow"), Tocharian A spārāñ, Ancient Greek ψάρ ("starling").

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