Definition of nightingale in English:


Pronunciation /ˈnītnˌɡāl/ /ˈnaɪtnˌɡeɪl/ /ˈnīdiNGˌɡāl/ /ˈnaɪdɪŋˌɡeɪl/


  • A small European thrush with drab brownish plumage, noted for the rich melodious song of the male, heard especially at night in breeding season.

    Luscinia megarhynchos, subfamily Turdinae, family Muscicapidae

    • ‘But diet extends to a selection of birds including warblers and even swallows, wheatears and nightingales.’
    • ‘In a bit of incredible but completely appropriate timing, the Fisherman sings ‘Oh, God above, how beautiful it is’ as the nightingale's song is heard.’
    • ‘Reich had the bird breeder's equivalent of a green thumb, and was known among bird hobbyists for training canaries to sing the song of the nightingale.’
    • ‘There are already an estimated 20000 of them, surpassing native birds such as barn owls, nightingales and kingfishers.’
    • ‘Brumm has studied how nightingales - famed for their melodious song - respond to the hustle and bustle in the German capital city of Berlin.’
    • ‘The nightingale and woodcock have completely disappeared.’
    • ‘He worried about the future of the golden eagle, the osprey and the nightingale and he condemned the persecution of the bullfinch.’
    • ‘I heard a nightjar, and our nightingale gave us a virtuoso performance but still, no cuckoo.’
    • ‘Our love of beauty may not be as intense as that of a Keats whom the full - throated melody of a nightingale's song could transport to the land of the fairies.’
    • ‘It is surprising that despite all the pollution, increased lighting and noise, I can still hear the nightingales sing and spot an odd fire fly or two amid the bushes.’
    • ‘In her mind she tried to recreate the May-smells of clematis and broom drifting in from the rolling hills, the song of nightingales on the wooded heights, the twinkle of fireflies in the ripening fields.’
    • ‘Listening to the songs of the nightingales and the rustling of the wind through the trees, he delighted in the sounds and smells of nature on that sunny afternoon.’
    • ‘It's a hugely romantic spot; you may even hear nightingales sing.’
    • ‘Or again, the blowing of a car horn just outside the room in which one is meditating might occasion unpleasant feelings, the song of a nightingale might occasion pleasant ones, or the sound of rain might occasion neither.’
    • ‘Leonard captures the essence of the nightingale's song in this piece, with layered beauty, utilizing a couple of unusual instruments in the process.’
    • ‘Without ears to hear, the nightingale would sing in vain.’
    • ‘The pipes now struck a chord with the sorrowful, organic quality of the nightingale's song.’
    • ‘Invited to hear him, the king declined, saying he had heard the nightingale itself.’
    • ‘It doesn't take much to get him on to the subject of the nightingales, otters, barn owls and even notoriously shy bitterns now living alongside the humans at Lower Mill.’
    • ‘The bird is a notorious skulker, tending to show itself only momentarily, and is as difficult to see well as a nightingale.’


Old English nihtegala, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch nachtegaal and German Nachtigall, from the base of night and a base meaning ‘sing’.



/ˈnītnˌɡāl/ /ˈnaɪtnˌɡeɪl/ /ˈnīdiNGˌɡāl/ /ˈnaɪdɪŋˌɡeɪl/