• synonyms


[tou-hee, toh-hee, toh-ee]
  1. any of several long-tailed North American finches of the genera Pipilo and Chlorura.
Show More

Origin of towhee

An Americanism dating back to 1720–30; imitative
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for towhee

Historical Examples

  • So let us call the towhee a finch, and say no more about it.

    Birds in the Bush

    Bradford Torrey

  • Two eggs of the cowbird and two or three of the towhee in a nest are common.

  • Chewink, or towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus), the "Hermit's" story, 93.

    Ways of Nature

    John Burroughs

  • Chewink: towhee, or ground-robin; to be distinguished by his loud call of “chewink” and his vigorous scratching among the leaves.

    The Spring of the Year

    Dallas Lore Sharp

  • The Chewink, or Towhee, called Nahl-tse, was instrumental in procuring the first fire.

British Dictionary definitions for towhee


  1. any of various North American brownish-coloured sparrows of the genera Pipilo and Chlorura
Show More

Word Origin

C18: imitative of its note
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