a. A small warbler (Setophaga ruticilla) of the Americas, the male of which has black plumage with orange patches on the wings and tail.
b. Any of several warblers of the genus Myioborus of South and Central America and southwest North America, resembling Setophaga ruticilla but having white rather than orange on the tail. Also called whitestart.
2. Any of several small flycatchers of Eurasia and Africa, especially Phoenicurus phoenicurus, having grayish plumage and a rust-red breast and tail.
[RED + obsolete start, tail (from Middle English stert, from Old English steort; see ster-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
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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.