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From Biology-Online Dictionary
(Science: zoology) One of several species of swallows, usually having the tail less deeply forked than the tail of the common swallows.
alternative forms: marten.
The American purple martin, or bee martin (progne subis, or purpurea), and the European house, or window, martin (hirundo, or chelidon, urbica), are the best known species. Bank martin. The bank swallow. See bank. The fairy martin. See fairy. Bee martin. The purple martin. The kingbird. Sand martin, the bank swallow.
Origin: f. Martin, from the proper name martin. Cf. Martlet.