• synonyms


[kraws-bil, kros-]
  1. 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.
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Origin of crossbill

First recorded in 1665–75; cross- + bill2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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.

British Dictionary definitions for crossbill


  1. 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
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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