1. (Science: zoology) A small, plain, brown and gray European song bird (Luscinia luscinia). It sings at night, and is celebrated for the sweetness of its song.
2. (Science: zoology) A larger species (Lucinia philomela), of Eastern Europe, having similar habits; the thrush nightingale. The name is also applied to other allied species. Mock nightingale.
(Science: zoology) See blackcap, 1 .
Origin: OE. Nihtegale,nightingale, AS. Nihtegale; niht night – galan to sing, akin to E. Yell; cf. D. Nachtegaal, OS. Nahtigala, OHG. Nahtigala, G. Nachtigall, Sw. Naktergal, Dan. Nattergal. See Night, and Yell.