- any of several usually brightly colored, passerine birds of the family Oriolidae, of the Old World.Compare golden oriole.
- any of several brightly colored passerine birds of the family Icteridae, of the New World.
- any songbird of the mainly tropical Old World family Oriolidae, such as Oriolus oriolus (golden oriole), having a long pointed bill and a mostly yellow-and-black plumage
- any American songbird of the family Icteridae, esp those of the genus Icterus, such as the Baltimore oriole, with a typical male plumage of black with either orange or yellow
n.1776, from French oriol “golden oriole,” Old Provençal auriol, from Medieval Latin oryolus, from Latin aureolus “golden,” from PIE *aus- “gold” (see aureate). Originally in reference to the golden oriole (Oriolus galbula), a bird of black and yellow plumage that summers in Europe (but is uncommon in England). Applied from 1791 to the unrelated but similarly colored North American species Icterus baltimore.