Definition of murmuration in English:



  • 1A flock of starlings.

    ‘Once a murmuration gets this large, the best way to get rid of them is through a major concerted effort, as officials were doing Monday evening, he said.’
    • ‘I mentioned to Bruce that his photo got the old gears turning and he responded by telling me about the " murmurations’ he was watching from his living room in the sky.’
    • ‘These displays, known as murmurations, are a frequently observed but little understood phenomenon and can involve up to 3 million birds at a time; a vast squadron of cackling artists picking out geometric symphonies led on by forces we can't even begin to understand.’
    • ‘Many of these, including tiding of magpies, murmuration of starlings, unkindness of ravens, and exaltation of larks, are poetic inventions that one can trace back to the fifteenth century.’
  • 2 literary The action of murmuring.

    ‘the murmuration of a flock of warblers’
    • ‘The way it builds from an initial murmuration of clarinets is not unlike the way Palimpsest I proceeds.’
    hum, humming, buzz, buzzing, whir, thrum, thrumming, drone, sigh



/ˌmərməˈrāSHən/ /ˌmərməˈreɪʃən/


Late Middle English from French, from Latin murmuratio(n-), from murmurare ‘to murmur’. The usage as a collective noun dates from the late 15th century.