What does “birds of a feather flock together” mean?

Explore the historical usage and evolution of this popular idiom. Discover how people tend to form social groups based on similarities. Synonyms: Like attracts like, Birds of the same feather, Kindred spirits.

Origin of the Idiom

Birds of a feather flock together is a proverb that has been in use for centuries.

It means that individuals with similar interests, personalities, or backgrounds tend to associate with each other.

The idiom is sometimes used to describe how people tend to form social groups based on similarities.

Historical Usage

The phrase “birds of a feather flock together” has been used in various forms for centuries.

The first known citation in print of the currently used version of the phrase comes from John Minsheu’s The Dictionarie in Spanish and English, published in 1623.

The phrase has also been attributed to William Turner, who used a version of it in his papist satire The Rescuing of Romish Fox, published in 1545.

Turner’s version of the phrase was “Byrdes of on kynde and color flok and flye allwayes together.”

Evolution of the Phrase

Over time, the phrase has evolved to become the commonly used version we know today.

The phrase has become a popular idiom, used to describe how people tend to form social groups based on similarities.

The phrase has also been used in literature, music, and other forms of art.

Definitions, Examples, and Synonyms

  • Definition 1: People who have similar interests or characteristics tend to associate with each other.
  • Definition 2: People with similar personalities or backgrounds tend to form social groups.
  • Definition 3: Individuals who share commonalities tend to gravitate towards each other.

Example sentences:

  1. “It’s no surprise that the two artists became friends; birds of a feather flock together.”
  2. “The group of students who loved to read would always hang out together; birds of a feather flock together.”
  3. “The team of scientists who worked on the project had similar interests; birds of a feather flock together.”

Synonyms:

  1. Like attracts like
  2. Birds of the same feather
  3. Kindred spirits