hum·ming·bird | \ˈhə-miŋ-ˌbərd \

Definition of hummingbird 

: any of a family (Trochilidae) of tiny brightly colored nonpasserine American birds related to the swifts that have a very slender bill and an extensible tongue for sipping nectar and that usually hover rather than perch when feeding

Illustration of hummingbird

Illustration of hummingbird

Examples of hummingbird in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The blues stroke the air and hundreds of feeders for cardinals, hummingbirds, orioles, finches, squirrels, woodpeckers and other creatures dangle from racks. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Red Caddy," 24 Apr. 2018 Her garden was a wildlife habitat and a migration stopover for hummingbirds, butterflies, and finches. Bonnie L. Cook,, "Joan 'Penny' Colgan-Davis, innovative educator and clerk of Quaker meetings," 6 July 2018 It is named after Sabrewing hummingbirds, a Central American subspecies that can do just that. Author: Elwood Brehmer, Anchorage Daily News, "Startup plans to revolutionize the air cargo industry, starting with Alaska," 15 June 2018 Tiny hovering hummingbirds, enormous albatrosses, ground-dwelling ostriches, seafaring penguins and every feathered creature in between owe their existence to those birds that made it through that extinction event. Amina Khan,, "The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs also shaped the evolution of birds," 24 May 2018 Zinnias are favorite nectar sources for hummingbirds and butterflies. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "The plants that will attract fall hummingbirds, butterflies," 13 July 2018 There had been a leucistic Anna’s hummingbird spotted at the U.C. Santa Cruz’s arboretum nearby. New York Times, "Jonathan Franzen Is Fine With All of It," 26 June 2018 A Bird scooter is a zippy little electric number that whooshes down the street as quietly as a hummingbird. Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic, "Fly On, My Sleek Electric Bird," 30 May 2018 Shirley was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother who enjoyed working in her flower garden in the sun and watching the hummingbirds., "Shirley A. Arseneault," 25 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hummingbird.' 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 hummingbird

1637, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

29 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for hummingbird

The first known use of hummingbird was in 1637

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More Definitions for hummingbird



English Language Learners Definition of hummingbird

: a very small, brightly colored American bird that has wings which beat very fast


hum·ming·bird | \ˈhə-miŋ-ˌbərd \

Kids Definition of hummingbird

: a tiny brightly colored American bird whose wings make a humming sound in flight

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one that holds something together

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