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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Merl \Merl\, Merle \Merle\, n. [F. merle, L. merula, merulus. Cf. Ousel.] (Zo["o]l.) The European blackbird. See Blackbird.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"blackbird," late 15c., from Old French merle "blackbird" (12c.), from Latin merulus "blackbird," from PIE *ams- "black, blackbird" (source also of Old English osle "blackbird;" see ouzel). The word owes its survival in modern times to its use by Scottish poets. The Latin word shows effects of rhotacism. It also is the source of Provençal and Spanish merla, Portuguese merlo, and Italian merla. Borrowed from French are Middle Dutch and German merle, Dutch meerle.


Etymology 1 n. 1 The (vern Eurasian blackbird pedia=1), ''Turdus merula''. 2 Any blackbird. Etymology 2

n. A type of mottled colouration on dogs.


n. common black European thrush [syn: blackbird, merl, ouzel, ousel, European blackbird, Turdus merula]


Merle may refer to:

  • Merle (given name), a given name used by both men and women
  • Merle (surname), a surname of French origin
  • Merle (dog coat), a pattern in dogs’ coats
  • Merle (grape), another name for the wine grape Merlot
  • Icterid varieties of which the male is predominantly black, especially the Common Blackbird
  • Akaflieg München Mü17 Merle, a German glider originally built in 1938 for the 1940 Olympics gliding competition
  • MS Phocine, a ferry formerly named MS Merle
  • Merle, a Crusader fort near Tantura on the coast of Israel
Merle (dog coat)

Merle is a pattern in a dog's coat. "Merle" comes in different colors and patterns. Some have blue patches throughout and are considered blue "merle"; same with red, and chocolate, although some describe merle as only a "pattern". DNA testing identifies the "Merle" gene but not the variety of colors and patterns seen in the coats of the dogs with the gene. A dilute black (BB or Bb) dog is generally known as blue, but a dog with a merle coat does not test BB or Bb but still is a blue dilute from the "merle" gene The merle gene creates mottled patches of color in a solid or piebald coat, blue or odd-colored eyes, and can affect skin pigment as well. Health issues are more typical and more severe when two merles are bred together, so it is recommended that a merle be bred to a dog with a solid coat color only.

Merle (given name)

Merle is a given name used by both men and women. People named Merle include:

  • Merle Allin (born 1953), punk rock musician
  • Merle Boucher (born 1946), North Dakota politician
  • Merle Curti (1897–1997), American historian and Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Merle Haggard (1937–2016), American country-western musician
  • Merle Harmon (1926–2009), American sportscaster
  • Merle Keagle (1923–1960), player in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
  • Merle Kilgore (1934–2005), American singer, songwriter and manager
  • Merle Louise (born 1934), American Broadway actress
  • Merle Oberon (1911–1979), Indo-English actress
  • Merle Park (born 1937), Royal Ballet prima ballerina
  • Merle Randall (1888–1950), American physical chemist
  • Merle Travis (1917–1983), American country music singer
  • Merle Tuve (1901–1982), American geophysicist
  • Merle Watson (1945–1985), American folk musician
  • Merle Woo (born 1941), American academic and activist
Merle (surname)

Merle is the surname of:

  • Carole Merle (born 1964), French former alpine skier
  • Frank Merle (mathematician) (born 1962), French mathematician
  • Georges Merle (1851–1886), French painter
  • Guy du Merle (1908-1993), French aeronautical engineer, test pilot and writer
  • Hugues Merle (1823–1881), French painter; father of Georges Merle
  • Matthieu Merle (c. 1548-after 1587), Huguenot captain in the Wars of Religion
  • Olivier Merle (born 1965), French former rugby union footballer
  • Pierre Hugues Victoire Merle (1766-1830), French general of the Napoleonic Wars
  • Robert Merle (1908–2004), French novelist

Usage examples of "merle".

Robin: The merry merle on leafy spray, The lark on fluttering wing Do pipe a joyous roundelay, To greet the blithesome spring.

Pille-Miche uttered a sort of hoarse cry as he started to find the postilion, and his glee brought death to Merle, whom he met on his way.

But Jean Merle was living, and might continue to live another twenty years or more, thus solitarily and monotonously.

In a dingle away from a rutted highroad, Around him the earliest throstle and merle, Our human smile between milk and sleep, Effervescent of Nature he crowed.

The problem with his plan-a huge one, Bettencourt admitted to himself-was that it only worked if Cuvier showed up as Cuvier, revealed his face to let Merle get a fix on him and tell the gunners where to strike.

The line was moving swiftly now, and Cuvier and his lady friend were at the front door of the auditorium before Merle got the walkie-talkie unhooked from his belt and brought it to his lips.

On this particular day, Horseface had taken the hunters out, leaving Merle Bowley, Counter Trimain and Erica to supervise the groups of sweating, grimy, loudly cursing Ganiks at work up on the scree.

Merle Bowley stood beside an abashed and rueful Horseface Charley and regarded the dead man sprawled on the roadway, part of his head blown away by one of the large explosive rifle bullets.

THE PARKING LOT was jammed with cars, their radios and tape decks blasting everything from Sammy Hagar to Merle Haggard into the warm night air.

Wild foals are scampering, neighing, Brave merles their hautboys blow: Come!

Every time I drew breath I could hear Merle whispering, "It's alright, it's alright, Anita, it's alright.

I saw no point in further distressing Patty May by telling her that Merle Hardcock owned a motorcycle the size of a Brahman bull.

Up to the Ring of Fire the Veteran's Administration paid for Merle out of his disability check.

By the time the ramp descended, the guanacos were back to grazing peacefully along the shore, and Gwen Thee was scolding Chekov about his whistle commands while a handful of black and merle dogs orbited around them.

Madame Merle makes the best hollandaise sauce I've tasted outside Paris: light yet silky, with the merest hint of tarragon.