any of numerous fish- or insect-eating birds of the family Alcedinidae that have a large head and a long, stout bill and are usually crested and brilliantly colored.

Origin of kingfisher

1400–50; king + fisher; replacing king's fisher, late Middle English kinges fisher Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for kingfisher



any coraciiform bird of the family Alcedinidae, esp the Eurasian Alcedo atthis, which has a greenish-blue and orange plumage. Kingfishers have a large head, short tail, and long sharp bill and tend to live near open water and feed on fish

Word Origin for kingfisher

C15: originally king's fisher
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 kingfisher

mid-15c., originally king's fisher, for obscure reasons; see king + fisher.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper