Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small European warbler (Phylloscopus collybita) with yellowish-green plumage.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small, common warbler, Phylloscopus collybita, with yellowish-green plumage that breeds throughout northern and temperate Europe and Asia.
  • n. Any of several other species of the same genus.
  • n. the song of the chiffchaff.

Etymologies

Imitative of its song.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Echoic of its repetitive "chiff-chaff" song of the European species Phylloscopus collybita. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A short car tour and a lengthy walk turn up not even a fleeting glimpse of a wheatear's white rump, and so we set off for Airidh nam Ban in the hope of at least hearing a chiffchaff among the trees there even if we don't see one.

    Country diary: South Uist

  • But there is neither sight nor sound of a chiffchaff.

    Country diary: South Uist

  • Blackthorn blossom foams along the sides of shorn hedgerows but grows unchecked with willow catkins and flowering gorse bushes in neglected thickets which shelter the returned chiffchaff and blackcap.

    Country diary: St Dominic, Tamar Valley

  • Yellow buttercups and blue speedwells in the grass, leaves eager with fresh rain in trees above; chiffchaff and blackcap singing; she was not dead yet.

    Country diary: Wenlock Edge

  • By July, the dawn chorus is virtually silent compared with the cacophony of spring but a chiffchaff still sounded in the distance.

    How to get back to nature when camping

  • Birds (12) buzzard; hobby; wood pigeon; crow; chiffchaff; blackbird; chaffinch; grey heron; gull (unspecified); green woodpecker; magpie; owl (unspecified);

    How to get back to nature when camping

  • • You'll mainly hear song thrush and chiffchaff from around 2:14 onwards.

    Listen to the National Trust audio guide to Britain's bird species

  • Others contributing to the soundtrack include the goldcrest, blackbird, thrush, chiffchaff, wren, mallard, coot and even the garden bully, the wood pigeon.

    Beat winter blues with birdsong, National Trust urges

  • They greeted me with warmth, and soon Dulcis began to chatter like a chiffchaff about a new suitor, and I was wholeheartedly grateful that she was more interested in herself than me.

    Wildfire

  • Next to me in the hut, the tax inspector takes down a bag and reaches inside, pulling out a dead chiffchaff, a slight and pale green warbler, its head lolling loosely over his fingers.

    A Year on the Wing

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