\ ˈfinch How to pronounce finch (audio) \

Definition of finch

: 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 Genetic analysis later identified him as a large cactus finch, probably blown in from Española, another part of the archipelago that is over 100km away. The Economist, "Match and mix How hybrids have upturned evolutionary theory," 3 Oct. 2020 The finches, for example, were the subject of a famous 40-year study that showed their beaks changed shape as drought and rainfall on the remote Galapagos Islands altered the birds’ food supply. Eric Niiler, Wired, "Pop Culture May Evolve at the Same Rate as Birds and Bugs," 20 Jan. 2020 San Cristobal is home to playful sea lions, giant tortoises and finches, and idyllic beaches. Helena De Moura, CNN, "600 gallons of oil spilled in waters off Galapagos Islands," 23 Dec. 2019 Most days, a family of cardinals shows up, then the chickadees and finches and a large, loud blue jay. Beth Thames |, al, "Lockdown is no fun, but consider yourself lucky if you’re well," 21 Apr. 2020 To attract large numbers of gold finch, use Nyger seed in a cage feeder made for it. Tom Stienstra,, "Can’t get outdoors during shelter-in-place? Bring the wildlife to your backyard," 29 Mar. 2020 The small finches live in the northern coastal foothills of Venezuela, and at least historically in Trinidad, though no birds have been seen in the island country for decades. Joshua Rapp Learn, Smithsonian Magazine, "Heavily Trafficked Songbirds a Victim of Venezuelan Collapse," 6 Apr. 2020 Instead, authorities found 34 colorful finches inside those rollers — each capable of producing songs worth thousands of dollars. Michael Brice-saddler,, "Prosecutors: East Hartford man tried to smuggle 34 finches through JFK Airport," 18 June 2019 An El Niño comes along, vegetation changes, seeds change, and the beak of the finch evolves accordingly in response to that environmental change. David Noonan, Scientific American, "Pop Culture’s Rate of Change May Mirror Organic Evolution," 22 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'finch.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of finch

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for finch

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)

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Time Traveler for finch

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

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Cite this Entry

“Finch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for finch



English Language Learners Definition of finch

: a small bird with a short, thick beak


\ ˈfinch How to pronounce finch (audio) \

Kids Definition of finch

: a songbird (as a sparrow, bunting, or canary) with a short bill used for eating seeds

More from Merriam-Webster on finch

Nglish: Translation of finch for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about finch

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