1. <ornithology> Any one of numerous species of small singing birds belonging to Troglodytes and numerous allied of the family Troglodytidae.

Among the species best known are the house wren (Troglodytes aedon) common in both Europe and America, and the American winter wren (T. Hiemalis). See also Cactus wren, Marsh wren, and Rock wren, under Cactus, Marsh, and Rock.

2. <ornithology> Any one of numerous species of small singing birds more or less resembling the true wrens in size and habits.

Among these are several species of European warblers; as, the reed wren (see Reed warbler, under Reed), the sedge wren, see Sedge warbler, the willow wren (see Willow warbler, the golden-crested wren, and the ruby-crowned wren (see Kinglet). Ant wren, any one of numerous South American birds of the family Formicaridae, allied to the ant thrushes. Blue wren, a small Australian singing bird (Malurus cyaneus), the male of which in the breeding season is bright blue. Called also superb warbler. Emu wren. Wren babbler, any one of numerous species of small timaline birds belonging to Alcippe, Stachyris, Timalia, and several allied genera. These birds are common in Southern Asia and the East Indies. Wren tit. See Ground wren. Wren warbler, any one of several species of small Asiatic and African singing birds belonging to Prinia and allied genera. These birds are closely allied to the tailor birds, and build their nests in a similar manner. See also Pincpinc.

Origin: OE. Wrenne, AS. Wrenna, wraenna, perhaps akin to wrne lascivious.

(01 Mar 1998)

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