- a common European bunting, Emberiza citrinella, the male of which is marked with bright yellow.
- Chiefly Southern U.S. a flicker, Colaptes auratus, having yellow wing and tail linings.
Origin of yellowhammer
1550–60; earlier also yelamber, yelambre, probably continuing Old English *geolu-amore, equivalent to geolu yellow + amore presumably, the bunting (cognate with Old Saxon amer, Old High German amaro; see emberizine); forms with -h- perhaps reflect blending with another etymon, later conformed to hammer (compare dial. yellowham)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for yellowhammer
I fear the yellowhammer will not long remain in such a pandemonium.Birds in London
W. H. Hudson
All our other Woodpeckers stay with us—except the Yellowhammer.
The unblessed condition of Yellowhammer had been truly described.Heart of the West
The yellowhammer is almost the longest of all the singers; he sits and sits and has no inclination to move.The Pageant of Summer
Another whack across his nether end, and a yell from yellowhammer.The Cruise of the Midge (Vol. II of 2)
- a European bunting, Emberiza citrinella, having a yellowish head and body and brown streaked wings and tail
- US and Canadian the yellow-shafted flicker, an American woodpeckerSee flicker 2
C16: of uncertain origin
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