wax·​wing | \ ˈwaks-ˌwiŋ How to pronounce waxwing (audio) \

Definition of waxwing

: 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

Its location in the forest suggests the tree's seed might have been deposited by a bohemian waxwing that swallowed frozen berries on a dark December day and perched on a nearby branch. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "What it’s like to run circles for 24 hours around the land of no night," 9 June 2018 Somewhere a waxwing flies on through an imaginary sky and Vladimir Nabokov is laughing in the dark. Ty Burr, BostonGlobe.com, "Vladimir Nabokov’s ‘Pale Fire’ is on fire," 29 Mar. 2018 Dozens of different birds—Northern pintails, wild turkeys, Franklin's gulls, Steller's jays, and cedar waxwings, just to name a few—make homes for themselves in Yellowstone National Park during at least part of the year. National Geographic, "More Birds Expected for Majority of National Parks—Here's Why," 21 Mar. 2018 Eastern kingbirds, cedar waxwings, black-capped chickadees and warblers flitted from limb to limb. Manya Brachear Pashman, chicagotribune.com, "Birders fear loss of habitat to Obama Center, Jackson Park golf course development," 5 Aug. 2017 Berries can also be magnets for winter visitors such as cedar waxwings. Jennifer J. Meyer, Orange County Register, "Create a haven for songbirds," 24 Jan. 2017 Hudon's first clue came in previous studies of the cedar waxwing. Michael S. Quinton, National Geographic, "Why Yellow Birds Mysteriously Turn Red," 21 Oct. 2016 She identified by ear a cedar waxwing, a reclusive wood thrush, a gray catbird (with its catty mew), a red-winged blackbird, a tree swallow, several cardinals and a frenetic blue-gray gnatcatcher. Atlanta Life, ajc, "Methodist Home site Decatur purchased holds historical, natural gems," 14 May 2017 The cedar waxwing didn’t have any close relatives with red feathers, so the scientists soon turned to the bird’s food. Michael S. Quinton, National Geographic, "Why Yellow Birds Mysteriously Turn Red," 21 Oct. 2016

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

1817, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near waxwing

wax tree


wax white



wax worm


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Time Traveler for waxwing

The first known use of waxwing was in 1817

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More Definitions for waxwing


wax·​wing | \ ˈwaks-ˌwiŋ How to pronounce waxwing (audio) \

Kids Definition of waxwing

: a crested mostly brown bird having yellow on the tip of the tail and often a waxy substance on the tip of some wing feathers

More from Merriam-Webster on waxwing

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with waxwing

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about waxwing

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to make a temporary encampment

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