gnat·​catch·​er ˈnat-ˌka-chər How to pronounce gnatcatcher (audio)
: any of a genus (Polioptila) of several small North and South American insectivorous oscine birds

Examples of gnatcatcher in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The land is mostly covered with coastal sage scrub and supports species such as the coastal California gnatcatcher, golden eagle and Quino checkerspot butterfly. Tammy Murga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Jan. 2024 All told, people spotted more than 80 different avian species munching on the insects, from large trumpeter swans to teeny-tiny blue-gray gnatcatchers. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Oct. 2023 Martha’s Vineyard: Nineteen snow geese at the Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown, a marbled godwit at Eel Pond in Edgartown, and a blue-gray gnatcatcher on Clay Pit Road at Aquinnah., 16 Sep. 2023 Martha’s Vineyard: A Mississippi kite in West Tisbury, and a blue-gray gnatcatcher and a common raven in Edgartown. Isabela Rocha,, 17 June 2023 Of note is the California gnatcatcher songbird found in the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon to the north. Diane Bell, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Apr. 2023 Single common ravens at Lake Tashmoo and Edgartown, 10 black skimmers in Edgartown, a harlequin duck in Aquinnah, and a blue-gray gnatcatcher and a Northern parula in the vicinity of the Sheriff’s Meadow Sanctuary pond. Isabela Rocha,, 29 Apr. 2023 In 2013, two researchers, Lincoln Carneiro and Alexandre Aleixo recommended recognizing a new species of gnatcatcher, Polioptila attenboroughi, based on an analysis of their morphology, genetics and vocalizations. Nathaniel Scharping, Discover Magazine, 3 Mar. 2018 The new addition to Mission Trails Park is critical habitat for the California gnatcatcher, an endangered songbird, Berninger said, and also hosts other animals such as mule deer and bobcats. Deborah Sullivan Brennan, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Aug. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gnatcatcher.' 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

1839, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gnatcatcher was in 1839

Dictionary Entries Near gnatcatcher

Cite this Entry

“Gnatcatcher.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on gnatcatcher

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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