• synonyms


  1. any of various finches having a thick, conical bill.
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Origin of grosbeak

First recorded in 1670–80, grosbeak is from the French word grosbec, literally, large beak
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for grosbeak

Historical Examples

  • Only one species of grosbeak appears to be common in the Himalayas.

    Birds of the Indian Hills

    Douglas Dewar

  • That pretty fashion of a contrast in linings is not confined to the grosbeak.

  • Thence came the inspiration of the Loxia pensilis (the grosbeak of the Philippines).

    The Bird

    Jules Michelet

  • It is an easy matter, therefore, for the Grosbeak to break off a single seed.

  • If I was to see the grosbeak and make sure of him, it must be done at once.

    A Florida Sketch-Book

    Bradford Torrey

British Dictionary definitions for grosbeak


  1. any of various finches, such as Pinicola enucleator (pine grosbeak), that have a massive powerful bill
  2. cardinal grosbeak any of various mostly tropical American buntings, such as the cardinal and pyrrhuloxia, the males of which have brightly coloured plumage
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Word Origin

C17: from French grosbec, from Old French gros large, thick + bec beak 1
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 grosbeak


1670s, partial translation of French grosbec; see gross + beak.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper