- a European finch, Pyrrhula pyrrhula, often kept as a pet, the male of which has a black, white, and bluish-gray back and a rosy breast.
- any of several related or similar birds.
Origin of bullfinch1
- a hedge high enough to impede mounted hunters.
Origin of bullfinch2
First recorded in 1825–35; of uncertain origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for bullfinch
He ‘seemed to remember,’ Bullfinch said, that he had dined well there.The Uncommercial Traveller
OW curious is the structure of the nest of the Bullfinch or Chaffinch!
The Alpe, or bullfinch, mentioned in the above lines, also survives as a surname.The Romance of Names
"I think it will be well for us to follow his advice," said Judge Bullfinch, after a pause.Policeman Bluejay
L. Frank Baum
"I didn't buy that at an auction, it was in the family," said Mr. Bullfinch.Jerry's Charge Account
Hazel Hutchins Wilson
- a common European finch, Pyrrhula pyrrhula : the male has a bright red throat and breast, black crown, wings, and tail, and a grey-and-white back
- any of various similar finches
C14: see bull 1, finch; probably so called from its stocky shape and thick neck
- British a high thick hedge too difficult for a horse and rider to jump
C19: perhaps changed from the phrase bull fence
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for bullfinch
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper