any of numerous small, short-tailed, sharp-beaked birds of the family Sittidae that creep on trees and feed on small nuts and insects.

Nearby words

  1. nutbrown,
  2. nutcase,
  3. nutcracker,
  4. nutcracker suite,
  5. nutgall,
  6. nuthouse,
  7. nutjob,
  8. nutlet,
  9. nutley,
  10. nutmeat

Origin of nuthatch

1300–50; Middle English notehache, nuthagge, nuthak, literally, nut hacker. See nut, hack1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for nuthatch

British Dictionary definitions for nuthatch



any songbird of the family Sittidae, esp Sitta europaea, having strong feet and bill, and feeding on insects, seeds, and nuts

Word Origin for nuthatch

C14: notehache, from note nut + hache hatchet, from the bird's habit of splitting nuts; see nut, hack 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 nuthatch



mid-14c., probably so called from its habit of breaking open and eating nuts; from nut + second element related to hack (v.) and hatchet.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper