• synonyms


  1. any of several songbirds of the family Bombycillidae, having a showy crest and certain feathers tipped with a red, waxy material, as Bombycilla garrulus (Bohemian waxwing), of the Northern Hemisphere.
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Origin of waxwing

First recorded in 1810–20; wax1 + wing
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for waxwing

Historical Examples of waxwing

  • The waxwing is larger than a sparrow and smaller than a robin.

    Birds Every Child Should Know

    Neltje Blanchan

  • The Waxwing is an elegant bird, of about the size of a Thrush.

  • The Bohemian waxwing, like the only other member of the family that ever visits us, the cedar-bird, is a roving gipsy.

    Bird Neighbors

    Neltje Blanchan

  • Presently Dandy flew down to a lower branch and there he was joined by Mrs. Waxwing.

  • Late in the fall Peter saw Mr. and Mrs. Waxwing and their family together.

British Dictionary definitions for waxwing


  1. any of several gregarious passerine songbirds of the genus Bombycilla, esp B. garrulus, having red waxy wing tips and crested heads: family Bombycillidae
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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 waxwing


1817, from wax (n.) + wing (n.). So called for appendages at the tips of its feathers which look like red sealing-wax.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper