woodpecker

noun wood·peck·er \ ˈwu̇d-ˌpe-kər \
Updated on: 8 Dec 2017

Definition of woodpecker

: any of numerous birds (family Picidae) with zygodactyl feet, stiff spiny tail feathers used in climbing or resting on tree trunks, a usually extensible tongue, a very hard bill used to drill the bark or wood of trees for insect food or to excavate nesting cavities, and generally showy parti-colored plumage

Recent Examples of woodpecker from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'woodpecker.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Illustration of woodpecker

First Known Use of woodpecker

circa 1530


WOODPECKER Defined for English Language Learners

woodpecker

noun

Definition of woodpecker for English Language Learners

  • : a bird that has a very hard beak which it uses to make holes in trees to get insects for food


WOODPECKER Defined for Kids

woodpecker

noun wood·peck·er \ ˈwu̇d-ˌpe-kər \

Definition of woodpecker for Students

: a bird that climbs trees and drills holes in them with its bill in search of insects


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

of very fine texture or delicate form

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu-jedi-training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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