wax·​wing ˈwaks-ˌwiŋ How to pronounce waxwing (audio)
: any of a genus (Bombycilla) of American and Eurasian chiefly brown to gray oscine birds (such as a cedar waxwing) having a showy crest, red waxy material on the tips of the secondaries, and a yellow band on the tip of the tail

Illustration of waxwing

Illustration of waxwing

Examples of waxwing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Many of the trees were ornamental – flowering beasts with spliced genes that made fruit so hard and sour the waxwings couldn’t eat it. Various Staff Writers, Special Correspondents, and Special Contributors, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Dec. 2023 Read full article Berkshire County: A golden eagle at Bartholomew’s Cobble, more than 10 bohemian waxwings among 120 cedar waxwings in downtown North Adams, a cackling goose at the Great Barrington Airport and three American wigeons and a ruddy duck at Pontoosuc Lake in Pittsfield. Isabela Rocha, BostonGlobe.com, 18 Mar. 2023 Invasive starlings, bigger and more aggressive than the waxwing, continue to grow in population, which could potentially push out the Bohemian waxwing in Anchorage, Sinnott said. Morgan Krakow, Anchorage Daily News, 21 Feb. 2023 Two reports of golden eagles in western Massachusetts came in along with small numbers of bohemian waxwings continuing to be seen among a large flock of cedar waxwings in North Adams. Isabela Rocha, BostonGlobe.com, 18 Mar. 2023 But waxwings have adapted. Morgan Krakow, Anchorage Daily News, 21 Feb. 2023 And in Plymouth, a bohemian waxwing near the St. Bonaventure Catholic Church natural area and 10 red crossbills at the Indian Brook Conservation Area. Isabela Rocha, BostonGlobe.com, 24 Dec. 2022 Piantedosi said that according to the US Department of Agriculture, at least 18 species of birds, including mourning doves, wild turkeys, bobwhite quail, cedar waxwings, and goldfinches, are known to eat the fruit of American holly. BostonGlobe.com, 5 Dec. 2019 In the Facebook video (below), a young cedar waxwing is offered food, but instead of eating it himself, brings it to an even younger cedar waxwing with a broken leg and feeds it to her. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, 20 Sep. 2019

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

Word History

First Known Use

1817, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of waxwing was in 1817

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Cite this Entry

“Waxwing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/waxwing. Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


wax·​wing ˈwak-ˌswiŋ How to pronounce waxwing (audio)
: any of a genus of American and Eurasian birds that are mostly brown or gray with a showy crest, velvety feathers, and sometimes red waxy material on the tip of the lower wing feathers

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