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linnet

[lin-it]
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noun
  1. a small Old World finch, Carduelis cannabina.
  2. any of various related birds, as the house finch.
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Origin of linnet

1520–30; earlier linet < Middle French (Walloon, Picard) linette (French linot, linotte), derivative of lin flax (cf. line1; so named for its diet of flaxseeds); see -et
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for linnet

Historical Examples

  • We can't cage our linnet, Rachel, and perhaps we shouldn't try.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • She turned for confirmation to Linnet and Matthew Henry, and they both nodded.

    Major Vigoureux

    A. T. Quiller-Couch

  • "I shouldn't put it off too long, if I were you," advised Linnet, candidly.

    Major Vigoureux

    A. T. Quiller-Couch

  • "You wait till you get there before you boast," advised Linnet.

    Major Vigoureux

    A. T. Quiller-Couch

  • "Linnet's improving," put in Matthew Henry, with fine sarcasm.

    Major Vigoureux

    A. T. Quiller-Couch


British Dictionary definitions for linnet

linnet

noun
  1. a brownish Old World finch, Acanthis cannabina : the male has a red breast and forehead
  2. Also called: house finch a similar and related North American bird, Carpodacus mexicanus
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Word Origin

C16: from Old French linotte, ultimately from Latin līnum flax (because the bird feeds on flaxseeds)
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 linnet

n.

small finch-like songbird, 1530s, from Middle French linette "grain of flax," diminutive of lin "flax," from Latin linum "linen" (see linen). Flaxseed forms much of the bird's diet. Old English name for the bird was linetwige, with second element perhaps meaning "pluck." This yielded Middle English and dialectal lintwhite.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper