any of various small European thrushes (genus Luscinia) with a russet back and buff to white underparts: the male is known for its varied, melodious singing, esp. at night during the breeding season
Origin of nightingaleMiddle English nigtingale, for earlier nihtegale from Old English (akin to German nachtigall) from niht, night + base of galan, to sing, akin to giellan, yell
1820-1910; Eng. nurse in the Crimean War: regarded as the founder of modern nursing
- A songbird (Luscinia megarhynchos) of Eurasia and Africa with reddish-brown plumage, noted for the melodious song of the male during the breeding season, most often heard at night.
- Any of various other songbirds of the genus Luscinia.
Origin of nightingaleMiddle English from Old English nihtegale niht night ; see night . galan to sing ; see ghel-1 in Indo-European roots.
Old English and Middle English nihtgale (“one who sings during the night")