With plural agreement. A large order of birds (now usually called Passeriformes), comprising the perching birds and (formerly) some others; the perching birds collectively, the passerines.
The name Passeres is sometimes used for the suborder (also known as Passeri or Oscines) that comprises the songbirds or oscine passerines.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Gilbert White (1720–1793), naturalist. From scientific Latin Passeres, use as order name (Linnaeus Systema Naturae (ed. 10, 1758) I. 162) of plural of post-classical Latin Passer genus name of sparrows (used by Gesner and other 16th- and 17th-cent. writers) from classical Latin passer sparrow, of unknown origin.