1. A North American songbird (Turdus migratorius) having a rust-red breast and gray and black upper plumage. Also called robin redbreast.
2. A small songbird (Erithacus rubecula) of Eurasia and Africa having olive-brown upper plumage and a conspicuous orange breast and face. Also called robin redbreast, ruddock.
3. Any of various birds resembling a robin.
[Short for Robin Redbreast, from Middle English Robin, personal name, from Old French, diminutive of Robert.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.