American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various finches of the family Fringillidae of Europe and America, having a thick conical bill.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A bird having a notably large, heavy, or turgid bill: usually a general and indefinite name of birds of the family Fringillidæ: in the plural loosely synonymous with the nominal subfamily Coccothraustinœ. Among familiar examples may be noted the hawfinch or hawthorn-grosbeak, Coccothraustes vulgaris, and the greenfinch or green grosbeak, Ligurinus chloris, both of Europe. (See cut under
hawfinch.) The pinegrosbeak. Pinicola enucleator, is common to both Europe and America. Peculiar to the latter country are the evening grosbeak, Hesperophona vespertina; the blue grosbeak, Guiraca cœrulea; the rose-breasted grosbeak, Zamelodia (or Habia) ludoviciuna; the black-headed grosbeak, Z. (or H.) melanocephala; and the cardinal or scarlet grosbeak, or cardinal-bird, Cardinalis virginianus. (See cut under Cardinalis.) A few large-billed conirostral birds not of the family Fringillidœ receive the same name, as the grenadier, an African weaver-bird, and some of the thick-billed American tanagers, indicating a former very extensive use of grosbeak as an English book-name of birds of the Linnean genus Loxia in a wide sense. Less frequently written grossbeak.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) One of various species of finches having a large, stout beak. The common European grosbeak or hawfinch is Coccothraustes vulgaris.
- n. any of various finches of Europe or America having a massive and powerful bill
- Partial translation of French grosbec : gros, thick, large (from Old French; see gross) + bec, beak. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Another visitor from the sub-arctic regions is the pine grosbeak, which is often mistaken for the robin, for these two birds are nearly equal in size.”
“She'd think a grosbeak was a depraved person with a large nose.”
“I know something of this region – have had other experiences like this: a pine grosbeak two years running on the telephone wire, of which I had the longest, clearest view.”
“ From the pictures Bobby identified a killdeer, a finch, a swallow, a grosbeak.”
“The mixed mesophytic forest in coves supports a large variety of nesting birds, including the wood thrush, ovenbird, summer tanager, rose-breasted grosbeak, and all the other species already named.”
“A few years ago even had a blue grosbeak show up at our feeders.”
“At our place, the first grosbeak sighting of the 2007 season was a couple days ago.”
“By coincidence, I saw my first Rose-breasted grosbeak of the season just yesterday”
“By coincidence, I saw my first Rose-breasted grosbeak of the season just yesterday, but it was the relatively drab female.”
“Representative birds include boreal and great horned owl, blue jay and evening grosbeak.”
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