• synonyms


  1. a common European bunting, Emberiza citrinella, the male of which is marked with bright yellow.
  2. Chiefly Southern U.S. a flicker, Colaptes auratus, having yellow wing and tail linings.
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Origin of yellowhammer

1550–60; earlier also yelamber, yelambre, probably continuing Old English *geolu-amore, equivalent to geolu yellow + amore presumably, the bunting (cognate with Old Saxon amer, Old High German amaro; see emberizine); forms with -h- perhaps reflect blending with another etymon, later conformed to hammer (compare dial. yellowham)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for yellowhammer

Historical Examples of yellowhammer

  • I fear the yellowhammer will not long remain in such a pandemonium.

    Birds in London

    W. H. Hudson

  • All our other Woodpeckers stay with us—except the Yellowhammer.

  • The unblessed condition of Yellowhammer had been truly described.

  • The yellowhammer is almost the longest of all the singers; he sits and sits and has no inclination to move.

    The Pageant of Summer

    Richard Jefferies

  • Another whack across his nether end, and a yell from yellowhammer.

British Dictionary definitions for yellowhammer


  1. a European bunting, Emberiza citrinella, having a yellowish head and body and brown streaked wings and tail
  2. US and Canadian the yellow-shafted flicker, an American woodpeckerSee flicker 2
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Word Origin for yellowhammer

C16: of uncertain origin
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