wood·​peck·​er | \ ˈwu̇d-ˌpe-kər How to pronounce woodpecker (audio) \

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

Illustration of woodpecker

Illustration of woodpecker

Examples of woodpecker in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

An in-house forensics team then sought out any sign of wear, corrosion, woodpecker holes or other damage that could increase the risk for wildfires. Camille Von Kaenel, The Mercury News, "PG&E permanently de-energizes transmission line that sparked Camp Fire," 20 June 2019 For nuthatches and woodpeckers, hang a suet feeder block in a hanging basket. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Create a home for birds, a new world for yourself," 10 June 2019 Acorns are an important food for the woodpeckers, providing food during the winter months when insects are not as plentiful. Ernie Cowan Outdoors, sandiegouniontribune.com, "One of nature’s hoarders," 7 Apr. 2018 Audubon recommends mixed seeds or black oil sunflower seeds for attracting chickadees and finches and hanging a suet feeder for woodpeckers. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Here's How Birds Stay Warm in the Winter, In Case You Were Wondering," 1 Feb. 2019 The study published in PLOS ONE is the first of its kind to look at the potential existence of neurotrauma in woodpeckers. Conor Dillon, USA TODAY, "How the brains of woodpeckers might help American football players," 6 Feb. 2018 There is no Wi-Fi or television at Tree Top, just the rustling of the birch trees and a cacophony of woodpeckers. Tiffany Thornton, USA TODAY, "Geodesic domes bring nature’s beauty indoors," 21 June 2018 Concealed within these forests are Tengalman’s owl, capercaillie and black woodpecker. Smithsonian, "Explore Catalonia’s Most Beautiful Nature Parks," 15 June 2018 The distinguishing factor between woodpecker damage and sapsucker damage is in the placement of the holes. Contributing Writer, NOLA.com, "Will it fit a state-of-the-art TV? 8 tips for upgrading an outdated entertainment center," 19 Feb. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of woodpecker

circa 1530, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for woodpecker

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for woodpecker

The first known use of woodpecker was circa 1530

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More Definitions for woodpecker



English Language Learners Definition of woodpecker

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


wood·​peck·​er | \ ˈwu̇d-ˌpe-kər How to pronounce woodpecker (audio) \

Kids Definition of woodpecker

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on woodpecker

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with woodpecker

Spanish Central: Translation of woodpecker

Nglish: Translation of woodpecker for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about woodpecker

Comments on woodpecker

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