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[kraws-bil, kros-] /ˈkrɔsˌbɪl, ˈkrɒs-/
any bird belonging to the genus Loxia, of the finch family, characterized by mandibles curved so that the tips cross each other when the bill is closed.
Origin of crossbill
First recorded in 1665-75; cross- + bill2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for crossbill
Historical Examples
  • The American, or Red, crossbill is the more common of our two.

    The Children's Book of Birds Olive Thorne Miller
  • The crossbill must be mentioned for the sake of the peculiarity indicated by its name.

  • The crossbill derives its name from having the tips of its bill crossed.

    Endurance Test

    Alan Douglas
  • There is an odd superstition connected with the crossbill, in Thuringia, which makes the wood-cutters very careful of the nests.

  • Sometimes we find them in cones Snipper the crossbill has opened but hasn't picked all the seeds out of.

  • We had hoped to find in these forests a home of the Spanish crossbill, but not a sign of it rewarded our search.

    Unexplored Spain Abel Chapman
  • Their curving bills are crossed at the tip, which strange arrangement gives them their name of crossbill.

    Citizen Bird

    Mabel Osgood Wright and Elliott Coues
  • The curious beak of a crossbill (Fig 6) is to pick seeds out of pine cones.

    The Children's Book of Birds Olive Thorne Miller
  • A Maine hunter was once shooting moose in the middle of January, when he came upon the nest of a crossbill, with the bird sitting.

    The Children's Book of Birds Olive Thorne Miller
  • The crossbill troubles itself but little about the other inhabitants of the woods, and is said to be almost fearless of man.

British Dictionary definitions for crossbill


any of various widely distributed finches of the genus Loxia, such as L. curvirostra, that occur in coniferous woods and have a bill with crossed mandible tips for feeding on conifer seeds
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
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