night raven


night raven
   A name given in some early translations of the Bible for one of the birds of abomination (Leviticus 11: 16). It was applied in country speech either to the nightjar, the night heron, or the bittern. The deep booming call of the male bittern was regarded as a fearful *omen; Oliver Goldsmith remembered from his boyhood 'with what terror the bird's note affected the whole village; they considered it to be the presage of some sad event . . . if any person in the neighbourhood died, they supposed it could not be otherwise, for the Night Raven had foretold it' (An History of the Earth and Animated Nature (1774)).

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.

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  • Night raven — Night Night (n[imac]t), n. [OE. night, niht, AS. neaht, niht; akin to D. nacht, OS. & OHG. naht, G. nacht, Icel. n[=o]tt, Sw. natt, Dan. nat, Goth. nahts, Lith. naktis, Russ. noche, W. nos, Ir. nochd, L. nox, noctis, Gr. ny x, nykto s, Skr. nakta …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • night raven — noun 1. nocturnal or crepuscular herons • Syn: ↑night heron • Hypernyms: ↑heron • Hyponyms: ↑black crowned night heron, ↑Nycticorax nycticorax, ↑yellow crowned night heron, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • night-raven — nightˈ ravˈen noun (Shakespeare) A bird that cries at night, supposed to be of ill omen • • • Main Entry: ↑night …   Useful english dictionary

  • night-raven — noun A bird active at night, sometimes identified with a specific species such as a night owl or nightjar, and sometimes seen as a separate animal in its own right. sad Horrour with grim hew, / Did alwayes sore, beating his yron wings; / And… …   Wiktionary

  • night raven — /ˈnaɪt reɪvən/ (say nuyt rayvuhn) noun 1. Poetic a bird that cries in the night; an ill omen. 2. → night heron …   Australian English dictionary

  • night raven — noun Date: before 12th century a bird that cries at night …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • night raven — a bird that cries in the night. [bef. 900; ME; OE nihthraefn, naehthraefn.] * * * …   Universalium

  • Night — (n[imac]t), n. [OE. night, niht, AS. neaht, niht; akin to D. nacht, OS. & OHG. naht, G. nacht, Icel. n[=o]tt, Sw. natt, Dan. nat, Goth. nahts, Lith. naktis, Russ. noche, W. nos, Ir. nochd, L. nox, noctis, Gr. ny x, nykto s, Skr. nakta, nakti.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English