jun·​co ˈjəŋ-(ˌ)kō How to pronounce junco (audio)
plural juncos or juncoes
: any of a genus (Junco of the family Emberizidae) of small widely distributed North American finches usually having a pink bill, ashy gray head and back, and conspicuous white lateral tail feathers

Examples of junco in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Once considered different species, numerous varieties of juncos have been lumped together over the years. Cecilia Garzella, USA TODAY, 29 Mar. 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 Even the most common birds, say the dark-eyed junco with its flashing white tail and sharp trilling, were nowhere to be found. Christopher Ketcham, Harper's Magazine, 1 Nov. 2023 Moreover, when researchers forced a grayish sparrow called a junco (which has some of the lowest fledgling survival rates among the species studied) to stay in the nest for 13 days instead of 10, more lived to adulthood. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, 20 June 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'junco.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, from Spanish, reed — more at jonquil

First Known Use

1887, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of junco was in 1887

Dictionary Entries Near junco

Cite this Entry

“Junco.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/junco. Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


jun·​co ˈjəŋ-kō How to pronounce junco (audio)
plural juncos or juncoes
: any of a genus of small North American finches usually with a pink bill, ashy gray head and back, and white tail feathers

More from Merriam-Webster on junco

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