: any of numerous passerine songbirds (families Fringillidae, Estrildidae, Emberizidae, and Cardinalidae) having a short stout usually conical bill adapted for crushing seeds

Examples of finch in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Listen to this article What do the finches of the Galapagos Islands and the lizards of a tiny island at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden have in common? Bill Kearney, Hartford Courant, 27 Jan. 2024 German researchers discovered a sort of pre-verbal stage in finches—similar to the babbling stage in humans—that leads to their becoming fluent in song. Jeffrey Kluger, TIME, 5 June 2024 More than 90% of those losses came from common birds like sparrows, blackbirds, warblers and finches. Jessie Opoien, Journal Sentinel, 25 Apr. 2024 These flittering finches are adaptable and have learned to live in cities, towns and farmland. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 13 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for finch 

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

Word History


Middle English fynche, fynch, going back to Old English fink, going back to West Germanic *finki-, *finkja-, perhaps going back to an Indo-European echoic noun base *ping-, whence also Greek pínga "nestling" and, with mobile s, Greek spíngon "siskin," Old Norse spiki "tit," Swedish spink "finch" (in regional gulspink "yellowhammer" or "great tit"), dialectal English spink "finch" (perhaps borrowed from Scandinavian)

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of finch was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near finch

Cite this Entry

“Finch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


: any of numerous songbirds (as the sparrows, grosbeaks, crossbills, goldfinches, and buntings) that have a short stout bill adapted for crushing seeds

More from Merriam-Webster on finch

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