n. pl. ca·nar·ies
1. A small finch (Serinus canaria) native to the Canary Islands that is greenish to yellow and has long been bred as a cage bird.
a. A woman singer.
b. An informer; a stool pigeon.
3. A sweet white wine from the Canary Islands, similar to Madeira.
4. A light to moderate or vivid yellow.
[French canari, from Spanish canario, of the Canary Islands, from (Islas) Canarias, Canary (Islands), from Late Latin Canāriae (Īnsulae), (islands) of dogs, from Latin canārius, pertaining to dogs, canine, from canis, dog; see kwon- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.