1. A convict. 2. An informer. "The D.A. has a cage full of canaries in the county jail singing (informing) for him."

- american underworld dictionary - 1950

Canaries are much more sensitive to oxygen deprivation and poisonous gases than humans are. For this reason, they were used for many years in mines as a kind of warning against suffocation. If the on-site canary died, it meant that oxygen was getting scarce, and the mine was evacuated.

Ca*na"ry (?), a. [F. Canarie, L. Canaria insula one of the Canary islands, said to be so called from its large dogs, fr. canis dog.]


Of or pertaining to the Canary Islands; as, canary wine; canary birds.


Of a pale yellowish color; as, Canary stone.

Canary grass, a grass of the genus Phalaris (P. Canariensis), producing the seed used as food for canary birds. -- Canary stone Min., a yellow species of carnelian, named from its resemblance in color to the plumage of the canary bird. -- Canary wood, the beautiful wood of the trees Persea Indica and P. Canariensis, natives of Madeira and the Canary Islands. -- Canary vine. See Canary bird flower, under Canary bird.


© Webster 1913.

Ca*na"ry, n.; pl. Canaries (#).


Wine made in the Canary Islands; sack.

"A cup of canary."



A canary bird.


A pale yellow color, like that of a canary bird.


A quick and lively dance.


Make you dance canary With sprightly fire and motion. Shak.


© Webster 1913.

Ca*na"ry (?), v. i.

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. Shak.


© Webster 1913.

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