• WordNet 3.6
    • n Vidua whydahs
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n vidua An African genus of Ploceidæ, giving name to the Viduinæ; the veuves, widow-birds, or whidah-birds. No type having been originally indicated, the name is practically conterminous with Viduinæ in a narrow sense, and has been variously restricted by different writers, notably to V. principalis and V. (Videstrelda) regia. The former of these has in the male the four middle tail-feathers immensely lengthened and wide throughout their length (not wire-shafted). It was originally described (and figured) by Edwards in 1760 as the long-tailed sparrow, by Brisson in the same year as la veuve d'Angola, by Linnæus in 1766 as Emberiza vidua, E. principalis, and E. serena, by Latham in 1783 as the long-tailed, variegated, and Dominican bunting, and by Cuvier in 1817 as Vidua principalis. The male is 10 inches long, of which length the ample middle tail-feathers make two thirds or more, the rest of the tail being scarcely 2 inches, and the wing being only 3; the color is black and white, chiefly massed in large areas, and varied with some buff and gray. The female lacks the extraordinary development of the tail, being scarcely 5 inches long, and is also quite different in color from the male. This bird is widely distributed in Africa. A second species is V. hypocherina (or splendent) of the Zanzibar district. For V. regia, see Videstrelda; and for other forms, see Viduinæ.
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In literature:

"Catalogue of the William Loring Andrews Collection of Early Books in the Library of Yale University" by Anonymous
Nobilis domina vidua de Dormand!
"Manasseh" by Maurus Jokai
Omnes sanctae Virgines et Viduae, orate pro nobis.
"The St. Gregory Hymnal and Catholic Choir Book" by Various
H. vidua," "Marg' L. de A. in com' E. Spinster," and "Sara B. de C. in comitatu Eb.
"A History of Witchcraft in England from 1558 to 1718" by Wallace Notestein
See also on the Vidua axillaris, ibid.
"The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, Vol. I (1st edition)" by Charles Darwin
On the Vidua, 'Ibis,' vol.
"The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex" by Charles Darwin