nut·​hatch | \ ˈnət-ˌhach How to pronounce nuthatch (audio) \

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nuthatch

Dictionary Entries near nuthatch



nut grass





Statistics for nuthatch

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for nuthatch

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for nuthatch



English Language Learners Definition of nuthatch

: a small bird with a narrow beak and short tail


nut·​hatch | \ ˈnət-ˌhach How to pronounce nuthatch (audio) \

Kids Definition of nuthatch

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on nuthatch

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nuthatch

Spanish Central: Translation of nuthatch

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

Comments on nuthatch

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


showing great care, attention, and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!