cross·​bill ˈkrȯs-ˌbil How to pronounce crossbill (audio)
: any of a genus (Loxia of the family Fringillidae) of finches with curved mandibles that cross each other

Examples of crossbill in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Modest numbers of red crossbills at the Montague Sandplains Wildlife Management Area in Montague where at least 33 were tallied., 19 Aug. 2023 At Birch Hill Wildlife Management Area in Winchendon three acadian flycatchers and 28 red crossbills were counted, and five evening grosbeaks were present in Royalston., 19 Aug. 2023 Worcester County: Four sandhill cranes on Hall Road in Hardwick and eight red crossbills at gate 43 at Quabbin Reservoir in Hardwick., 19 Aug. 2023 In addition, scattered small flocks of red crossbills continue to be reported from a number of localities in western parts of the state., 5 Aug. 2023 Four sandhill cranes off Central Street in Plainfield, a continuing blue grosbeak on Aqua Vitae Road in Hadley, 18 greater yellowlegs and two sanderlings in the East Meadows in Northampton, and three red crossbills at Quabbin Park at the Quabbin Reservoir in Belchertown., 29 July 2023 Franklin County: Eight red crossbills near Cranberry Pond in Sunderland. Isabela Rocha,, 15 July 2023 Red crossbills are nomadic in their feeding and nesting habits and a bit harder to locate. Tracey Minkin, Southern Living, 12 July 2023 Single least bitterns at a Richmond marsh and in Cheshire, two worm-eating warbler on Mount Washington Road in Egremont, a hooded warbler at the Hopkins Memorial Forest, and 10 red crossbills at the October Mountain State Forest. Isabela Rocha,, 17 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'crossbill.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1672, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of crossbill was circa 1672

Dictionary Entries Near crossbill

Cite this Entry

“Crossbill.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


cross·​bill -ˌbil How to pronounce crossbill (audio)
: any of a genus of finches with the upper and lower parts of the bill curved so that they cross each other when the bill is closed

Legal Definition

cross bill

see bill sense 3a

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