birdlime

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v birdlime spread birdlime on branches to catch birds
    • n birdlime a sticky adhesive that is smeared on small branches to capture small birds
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Birdlime An extremely adhesive viscid substance, usually made of the middle bark of the holly, by boiling, fermenting, and cleansing it. When a twig is smeared with this substance it will hold small birds which may light upon it. Hence: Anything which insnares.Birdlime is also made from mistletoe, elder, etc. "Not birdlime or Idean pitch produce
      A more tenacious mass of clammy juice."
    • v. t Birdlime To smear with birdlime; to catch with birdlime; to insnare. "When the heart is thus birdlimed , then it cleaves to everything it meets with."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n birdlime A viscous substance prepared from the inner bark of the holly, Ilex Aquifolium, used for entangling small birds in order to capture them, twigs being smeared with it at places where birds resort or are likely to alight.
    • birdlime To smear with birdlime.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Bird, + lime, viscous substance

Usage

In literature:

Sometimes they catch them with a viscous birdlime that paralyses their movements.
"Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea" by Jules Verne
Every day boys were to be seen walking along the roads and by the hedges and ditches, catching dragonflies with birdlime.
"The Malay Archipelago" by Alfred Russell Wallace
That holds them like birdlime.
"Ulysses" by James Joyce
He is a citizen's birdlime, and where he holds he hangs.
"Character Writings of the 17th Century" by Various
Its birdlime gleams in the golden rays like the whitewash of a tall light-house, or the lofty sails of a cruiser.
"The Piazza Tales" by Herman Melville
Call them rather chains to bind the nation, lures and birdlime such as snarers use.
"Renaissance in Italy, Volumes 1 and 2" by John Addington Symonds
In effect both father and son became fast to the birdlime figure, when they were stung to death by ten thousand bees.
"Spanish Life in Town and Country" by L. Higgin and Eugène E. Street
Stairs became narrower and more heavily encrusted with birdlime and rust as he ascended.
"In the Control Tower" by Will Mohler
He described the merits of deadfalls, snares, steel traps, and birdlime.
"David and the Phoenix" by Edward Ormondroyd
The fig-leaves having been gathered to his hand, and the birdlime made ready, Ossaroo proceeded to carry out his design.
"The Plant Hunters" by Mayne Reid
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In poetry:

"He calls `hunted fairly' a horse that has barely
Been stripp'd for a trot within sight of the hounds,
A horse that at Warwick beat Birdlime and Yorick,
And gave Abdelkader at Aintree nine pounds.
"How We Beat The Favourite" by Adam Lindsay Gordon