Origin of chaffinch

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

Examples from the Web for chaffinch

Historical Examples of chaffinch

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

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper