hum·​ming·​bird | \ ˈhə-miŋ-ˌbərd How to pronounce hummingbird (audio) \

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

Fill your hummingbird feeder with a mixture of one part sugar and four parts water by volume. Calvin Finch,, "Purple martins are on the move," 5 July 2019 At first glance, one of the most famous figures of Peru's Nasca Lines looks like a fairly generic hummingbird. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "New study takes a bird’s-eye view of the Nasca Lines," 20 June 2019 Ants, microbes, moths, even hummingbirds and tortoises (Farmer checked) all detect and react to these blasts. Quanta Magazine, "The Secret Language of Plants," 16 Dec. 2013 In addition to being attractive, the blooms offer a nectar source for hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators. Calvin Finch,, "More great plants for color in your San Antonio summer garden," 14 June 2019 Sloths now join hummingbirds, caterpillars, spiders, and a variety of fish as some of the animals that researchers are actively learning from. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "This Robotic Sloth Is Purposely Slow," 30 May 2019 The hummingbirds and bees and birds are out there all the time. Lisa Boone,, "They swapped their Newport Beach lawn for a lush, low-water landscape," 29 Mar. 2018 Combine that with ruby-throated hummingbirds being extremely territorial. Taylor Piephoff, charlotteobserver, "Bird activity slows this time of year, but it’ll pick up soon," 27 June 2018 Some Mexicans believe hummingbirds have supernatural powers. National Geographic, "Inside the Black Market Hummingbird Love Charm Trade," 18 Apr. 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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Statistics for hummingbird

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

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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 How to pronounce hummingbird (audio) \

Kids Definition of hummingbird

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on hummingbird

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hummingbird

Spanish Central: Translation of hummingbird

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

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