• WordNet 3.6
    • adj canary having the color of a canary; of a light to moderate yellow
    • n canary any of several small Old World finches
    • n canary a moderate yellow with a greenish tinge
    • n canary a female singer
    • n canary someone acting as an informer or decoy for the police
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The beluga whale, otherwise known as the white whale, is nicknamed the "sea canary" because of the birdlike chirping sounds it makes.
    • Canary A canary bird.
    • Canary A pale yellow color, like that of a canary bird.
    • Canary A quick and lively dance. "Make you dance canary With sprightly fire and motion."
    • Canary Of a pale yellowish color; as, Canary stone.
    • Canary Of or pertaining to the Canary Islands; as, canary wine; canary birds.
    • v. i Canary To perform the canary dance; to move nimbly; to caper. "But to jig of a tune at the tongue's end, canary to it with your feet."
    • Canary Wine made in the Canary Islands; sack. "A cup of canary ."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The Canary Islands were not named for a bird called a canary. They were named after a breed of large dogs. The Latin name was Canariae insulae "Island of Dogs."
    • n canary Wine made in the Canary islands. It was anciently included under the general name sack. In the eighteenth century, and as late as 1820, it was in special, demand in England. The principal brands are Teneriffe and Vidonia.
    • n canary A lively French and English dance, of disputed origin, similar to the jig: named from the Canary islands. Often written canaries.
    • n canary A melody intended for such a dance, written in sextuple (or sometimes quadruple) rhythm.
    • n canary A canary-bird (which see).
    • n canary A sovereign (gold coin): so called from its color.
    • n canary A kept mistress.
    • n canary A word put by Shakspere in its singular arid plural forms into the mouth of Mrs. Quickly, in the explanation of which commentators differ. It is probably an intentional blunder for quandary.
    • canary Of the color of the domestic canary-bird; bright-yellow.
    • canary To dance; frolic; perform the old dance called a canary.
    • n canary In Australia, a name of Clitonyx ochrocephala, a relative of the lyrebird.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The beluga whale is often referred to as the "sea canary" because of the birdlike chirping sounds it makes.
    • n Canary ka-nā′ri a light sweet wine from the Canary Islands: a bird originally from the Canary Islands: a lively dance
    • adj Canary canary-coloured, bright yellow
    • ***


Canary in a coal mine - (UK) A canary in a coal mine is an early warning of danger.
Sing like a canary - If someone sings like a canary, they tell everything they know about a crime or wrongdoing to the police or authorities.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. Canarie, L. Canaria insula, one of the Canary islands, said to be so called from its large dogs, fr. canis, dog


In literature:

I love my canary very much.
"My Lady Nicotine" by J. M. Barrie
You cross between a canary 'n' a mud-turtle!
"Blister Jones" by John Taintor Foote
Taking a ship or two, he sailed to the Canary Islands, picking up a rich Spanish ship there.
"The Pirates' Who's Who" by Philip Gosse
One string canary-colour, and the other white.
"Mary's Meadow" by Juliana Horatia Ewing
Skeat says it is so called from the Canary Islands.
"Shakespeare and Music" by Edward W. Naylor
He heard her no longer talking to the dogs, trilling to the canary.
"Mary Gray" by Katharine Tynan
Seated next to the Black Velvet Bag a Canary as big as a Turkey Gobbler!...
"Peace on Earth, Good-will to Dogs" by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
If my two canary birds could be made to sing then would I also sing.
"Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the Twenty-Fourth Annual Meeting" by Northern Nut Growers Association
During that winter he and Canary, the negro washwoman, became quite good friends.
"Gigolo" by Edna Ferber
Don't you wish you could sing like a canary-bird?
"Peggy in Her Blue Frock" by Eliza Orne White

In poetry:

The sweet canary warbles
Where wealth and splendor dwell:
Who knows what sorrow moves her,
And who her pain can tell?
"The Canary" by Morris Rosenfeld
The cheerful robin's sturdy note,
The gay canary's trill,
Blent with the low of new-milked kine
That sauntered by the rill:
"A Ballad Of 1812" by Sarah Anne Curzon
Let us once more fill, ere the final chill,
Every vein with the glow of the rich canary!
Since the sweet hot liquor of life's to spill,
Of the last of the cellar what boots be chary?
"Two Moods Of Failure" by Helen Gray Cone
Instead of which you sit there and roll your head like a
And show a tiny bunch of white teeth in your underhung
Self-conscious little bitch,
Aiming again at being loved.
"Bibbles" by D H Lawrence
In a costly palace, when the brave gallants dine,
They have store of good venison, with old canary wine,
With singing and music to heighten the cheer;
Coarse bits, with grudging, are the pauper's best fare.
"A Ballad" by Charles Lamb
At two-ten sharp the parrot in the flat
Across the way his monologue essays.
At three, again, as Gilbert says, the cat;
At four a milkman's horse, exulted, neighs.
At six-fifteen, nor does it ever vary,
I hear the dulcet tones of a canary.
"Our Dum'd Animals" by Franklin Pierce Adams

In news:

The Canaries are located in the trade winds, near the mouth of the Mediterranean, so there's a variety of microclimates.
Wildfires rage on Spain's Canary Islands.
Is shooter ' canary in the mine'.
Is Colorado shooter ' canary in the mine.
Cervantes descended from Canary Islanders.
T he one—and possibly only—region of Spain that travelers may not think of as a gastronomic paradise is exactly where frontline gourmands are heading: Tenerife, in the Canary Islands.
The Cat and the Canary (NR).
Spain allows oil drilling off Canary Islands.
MADRID – The Spanish government on Friday authorized oil drilling off the Canary Islands, one of Europe's most popular tourist destinations, in a bid to ease the struggling country's expensive dependence on crude imports.
I'll be honest: Crimson Canary 's concept—Mob-style Italian-American eats—doesn't really hang together for me.
Canary Wharf's biggest landlord is considering bringing in additional corporate PR support as it looks to attract more businesses from around the globe.
Canary Wharf Group seeks comms boost to attract more global business.
Canaries , like miners, not doing well breathing methane and carbon gas either.
Canary and The Coalminers.
Local band Canary and The Coalminers is the latest band to visit us in the studio.

In science:

Finally, I want to warmly thank the organizers of the Canary Islands Winter School on ”High-Redshift Galaxies” for their kind invitation.
High-Redshift Galaxies: The Far-Infrared and Sub-Millimeter View
The WASP0 instrument was developed as a proof-of-concept instrument similar to Vulcan (Borucki et al. 2001) to search for planetary transits, and as a precursor to SuperWASP (Street et al. 2003), a more advanced instrument that has recently been constructed on La Palma, Canary Islands.
Results from the Wide Angle Search for Planets Prototype (WASP0) I: Analysis of the Pegasus Field
During its observing run on La Palma, Canary Islands, WASP0 was mounted piggy-back on a commercial 8-inch Celestron telescope with a German equatorial mount.
Results from the Wide Angle Search for Planets Prototype (WASP0) I: Analysis of the Pegasus Field
We also used the Long-slit Infrared Imaging Spectrograph (LIRIS; Manchado et al. (1998)) instrument on the William Herschel Telescope on La Palma in the Canaries, which uses MKO J and H filters, a Ks filter, and a zLiris filter that is quite similar (although slightly narrower band; 1.00–1.07µm) to WFCAM Y .
Fifteen new T dwarfs discovered in the UKIDSS Large Area Survey
Bologna University in Loiano, Italy, at the 1.0-meter UPSO telescope in Nainital, India, at the 1.2-meter CAHA telescope in Calar Alto, Spain, at the 1.5-meter telescope of the Sierra Nevada Observatory (SNO) in Granada, Spain, and at the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) in the Canary Islands, Spain.
Unusually rapid variability of the GRB000301C optical afterglow