gold·​finch ˈgōl(d)-ˌfinch How to pronounce goldfinch (audio)
: any of several small, active, often brightly-colored finches (genus Carduelis of the family Fringillidae) with yellow in their plumage: such as
: a small finch (Carduelis tristis) native to North America that in the breeding plumage of the male is yellow with a white rump and black markings on the wings, tail, and crown

called also American goldfinch

: one (Carduelis carduelis) native to Europe, western and central Asia, and northern Africa that has the front of the head and throat bright red, the nape with part of the wings and tail black, and the wings marked in bright yellow

Examples of goldfinch in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web American goldfinch, Spinus tristis - This perching bird will remain up north during the winter if there is a good supply of food. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 13 Apr. 2024 Seed feeders will attract doves, finches, scrub jays, California and spotted towhees, quail and lesser goldfinch. Ernie Cowan, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Mar. 2024 American goldfinch,Spinus tristis - This perching bird will remain up north during the winter if there is a good supply of food. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 4 Mar. 2024 Another very late nester in our area is the American goldfinch. Taylor Piephoff, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 Among the likely birds in Sacramento: house finch, mourning dove, crow, cedar waxwing, scrub jay, mockingbird, sparrow, goldfinch, junco and woodpecker. Debbie Arrington, Sacramento Bee, 31 Jan. 2024 These include species like cardinals, robins, and the goldfinch. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 14 Sep. 2023 Walking to the mailbox, a flock of western bluebirds took flight like flickering blue Christmas lights, while nearby a dozen or more lesser goldfinches hung like bright yellow ornaments in a sumac shrub. Ernie Cowan, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Dec. 2023 Washington: Willow goldfinch The willow goldfinch is Washington's state bird. Olivia Munson, USA TODAY, 25 July 2023

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near goldfinch

Cite this Entry

“Goldfinch.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


gold·​finch -ˌfinch How to pronounce goldfinch (audio)
: a small largely red, black, and yellow European finch often kept in a cage
: any of several small American finches of which the males in their summer coat of feathers are usually yellow with black wings, tail, and top of the head

More from Merriam-Webster on goldfinch

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