nightjar (n.) nocturnal bird, goatsucker, 1620s, from NIGHT (Cf. night) + JAR (Cf. jar) (v.). So called for the "jarring" sounds made by the male when the female is brooding, which have been described as a "churring trill that seems to change direction as it rises and falls." An Old English word for it was nihthræfn "night raven."

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • nightjar — [nīt′jär΄] n. [ NIGHT + JAR1: from the whirring noise made by the male] any of a family (Caprimulgidae) of goatsuckers; esp., the common European nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus) …   English World dictionary

  • Nightjar — Night jar , n. A goatsucker, esp. the European species. See Illust. of {Goatsucker}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Nightjar — Goatsucker redirects here. For the cryptid translated from Spanish as goat sucker, see Chupacabra. This article is about the bird. For the aircraft, see Gloster Nightjar. Nightjars Common Nighthawk, Chordeiles minor, and Whip poor will …   Wikipedia

  • nightjar — /nuyt jahr /, n. 1. a nocturnal European bird, Caprimulgus europaeus, of the family Caprimulgidae, having a short bill and a wide mouth and feeding on insects captured in the air. 2. Also called goatsucker. any other nocturnal or crepuscular bird …   Universalium

  • nightjar — /ˈnaɪtdʒa / (say nuytjah) noun 1. any of various nocturnal insect eating birds of the widely distributed family Caprimulgidae, having cryptic plumage and roosting on the ground during the day, as the spotted nightjar, Eurostopodus argus, endemic… …  

  • nightjar — Goatsucker Goat suck er, n. (Zo[ o]l.) One of several species of insectivorous birds, belonging to {Caprimulgus} and allied genera, esp. the European species ({Caprimulgus Europ[ae]us}); so called from the mistaken notion that it sucks goats. The …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • nightjar — night•jar [[t]ˈnaɪtˌdʒɑr[/t]] n. 1) orn any of numerous nocturnal goatsuckers of the subfamily Caprimulginae, having a short bill and a wide mouth used for scooping up insects in midflight 2) orn the common Eurasian nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus …   From formal English to slang

  • nightjar — noun Etymology: from its harsh sound Date: 1630 any of a family (Caprimulgidae) of medium sized long winged crepuscular or nocturnal birds (as the whip poor wills and nighthawks) having a short bill, short legs, and soft mottled plumage and… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • nightjar — noun /ˈnaɪtʤɑː,ˈnaɪtʤɑr/ Any of various medium sized nocturnal birds of the family Caprimulgidae, that feed predominantly on moths and other large flying insects …   Wiktionary

  • nightjar — night|jar [ naıt,dʒar ] noun count a brown bird that makes a loud sound at night …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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