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

  • n. Any of various relatively small birds of the family Fringillidae, including the goldfinches, sparrows, cardinals, grosbeaks, and canaries, having a short stout bill adapted for cracking seeds.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any bird of the family Fringillidae, seed-eating passerine birds, native chiefly to the Northern Hemisphere and usually having a conical beak.
  • v. To hunt for finches, to go finching.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small singing bird of many genera and species, belonging to the family Fringillidæ.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • An obsolete contracted form of finish.
  • n. The chaffinch; any bird of the genus Fringilla or family Fringillidæ, of which the species are very numerous; a bunting, sparrow, grosbeak, etc. See Fringillidæ.
  • n. Any small conirostral oscine passerine bird, as of the family Ploceidæ or Tanagridæ; a weaver-bird or tanager.
  • n. Loosely, in composition, some other small bird, as the fallow-finch.
  • n. Peucæa cassini, a kind of summer finch of southwestern parts of the United States: named for the same.
  • n. The yellow-hammer.
  • n. The Texas sparrow, Embernagra rufovirgata. See Embernagra.
  • n. A misnomer of the Canadian sparrow or tree-sparrow, Spizella monticola.
  • n. The snow-bunting, Plectrophanes nivalis, in the plumage of winter, or of the female and young male.
  • n. The pine-siskin, Chrysomitris pinus: so called from its fondness for the seeds of the pine.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any of numerous small songbirds with short stout bills adapted for crushing seeds


Middle English, from Old English finc.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English finċ, from Proto-Germanic *funkiz, funkjon (compare Dutch vink, German Fink), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)pingos 'chaffinch' (compare Welsh pinc 'finch', Ancient Greek spingos 'chaffinch', Russian penka 'wren', Sanskrit phingaka 'drongo, shrike'). (Wiktionary)


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