Origin of grosbeak

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

Examples from the Web for grosbeak

Historical Examples of grosbeak

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

Word Origin for grosbeak

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper