nut·hatch | \ˈnət-ˌhach \

Definition of nuthatch 

: any of various small tree-climbing chiefly insectivorous birds (family Sittidae and especially genus Sitta) that have a compact body, a narrow bill, a short tail, and sometimes a black cap

Illustration of nuthatch

Illustration of nuthatch

Examples of nuthatch in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The paper looked at about a dozen songbird species, including the American robin, red-faced warbler, and other arboreal species, as well as ground-dwelling birds like the house wren and white-breasted nuthatch. National Geographic, "Birds That Leave Nest Too Late Can Endanger Their Families," 25 June 2018 While most birds peck at food right side up, the nuthatch disdains proper manners. Jerry Shnay, Daily Southtown, "Shnay: June brings colorful birds to my yard," 11 June 2018 Blue jays, cardinals, chickadees, finches, nuthatches and titmice will come for the black-oil sunflower seed. Evan Macdonald,, "No one harmed in Christmas house fire in Broadview Heights," 25 Dec. 2017 The sound of the flowing river was broken by the chirping of a black-capped chickadee and a white-breasted nuthatch. Frank Vaisvilas, Daily Southtown, "Local residents count in national effort to record bird population," 18 Dec. 2017 But a downy woodpecker has set up shop in the old tree, and the chickadees and nuthatches are working over the bark something fierce. Murr Brewster, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why every writer needs a tree," 13 Sep. 2017 Species that live there include pygmy nuthatches, kangaroo rats, rough-skinned newts and northern spotted owls, according to a monument pamphlet. Andrew Selsky, The Seattle Times, "Oregon girds for lawsuit if Trump shrinks national monument," 25 Aug. 2017 Of those, the most common are wrens, titmice, chickadees, bluebirds, house sparrows, nuthatches, fly catchers, tree swallows, woodpeckers, kestrels, wood ducks, barn owls and screech owls. Joan Morris, The Mercury News, "Now is the time to put up bird nesting boxes," 26 Jan. 2017 A red-breasted nuthatch even showed; a late holdover from the winter. Taylor Piephoff, charlotteobserver, "Behold the blackburnian warbler – the fire throat you must see to appreciate," 5 May 2017

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nuthatch

Middle English notehache, from note nut + -hache; akin to Old English tohaccian to hack — more at hack

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The first known use of nuthatch was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of nuthatch

: a small bird with a narrow beak and short tail


nut·hatch | \ˈnət-ˌhach \

Kids Definition of nuthatch

: a small bird that creeps on tree trunks and branches and eats insects

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What made you want to look up nuthatch? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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