• synonyms


  1. a common finch, Fringilla coelebs, of the Old World, often kept as a pet.
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Origin of chaffinch

1400–50; late Middle English chaffynche, Old English ceaffinc. See chaff1, finch
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for chaffinch

Historical Examples of chaffinch

  • To her, who took no sides, there was every bit as much to be said for the hawk as for the chaffinch.

    The Golden Age

    Kenneth Grahame

  • OW curious is the structure of the nest of the Bullfinch or Chaffinch!

  • I have been in England, and came here again as lively as a chaffinch.

    Louise de la Valliere

    Alexandre Dumas, Pere

  • The chaffinch gave a light chirp, as if to recall him to his duty.

  • This bird is about the size of a chaffinch, and was first killed by me on the Darling.

British Dictionary definitions for chaffinch


  1. a common European finch, Fringilla coelebs, with black and white wings and, in the male, a reddish body and blue-grey head
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Word Origin for chaffinch

Old English ceaffinc, from ceaf chaff 1 + finc finch
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 chaffinch


Fringilla cælebs, Old English ceaffinc, literally "chaff-finch," so called for its habit of eating waste grain among the chaff on farms. See chaff + finch.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper