California gnatcatcher


Definition of California gnatcatcher

: a bluish-gray gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica) native to coastal scrubland from southern California to Baja California that closely resembles the black-tailed gnatcatcher but with less white on the underside of the tail The California gnatcatcher is a threatened, small bird species with a call that resembles a kitten's mew. It has been the center of multiple habitat-conservation efforts along the Southern California coast.— Mark Glover, Sacramento Bee, 26 Sept. 2012

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of California gnatcatcher

1919, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About California gnatcatcher

Time Traveler for California gnatcatcher

Time Traveler

The first known use of California gnatcatcher was in 1919

See more words from the same year

Statistics for California gnatcatcher

Cite this Entry

“California gnatcatcher.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!