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[chaf-inch] /ˈtʃæf ɪntʃ/
a common finch, Fringilla coelebs, of the Old World, often kept as a pet.
Origin of chaffinch
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English chaffynche, Old English ceaffinc. See chaff1, finch Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for chaffinch
Historical Examples
  • He is burningly jealous, equalling the chaffinch in fiery emulation.

    The Bird Jules Michelet
  • OW curious is the structure of the nest of the Bullfinch or chaffinch!

  • A great-tit has a note very much like the "pink, pink" of a chaffinch, which he occasionally uses.

    In a Cheshire Garden Geoffrey Egerton-Warburton
  • The chaffinch gave a light chirp, as if to recall him to his duty.

  • But aside from a chaffinch or so and a brown and white spotted calf tied to a tree, the grove was empty—blatantly empty.

    Jerry Jean Webster
  • This bird is about the size of a chaffinch, and was first killed by me on the Darling.

  • But aside from a chaffinch or so and a brown-and-white spotted calf tied to a tree, the grove was empty—blatantly empty.

    Jerry Junior Jean Webster
  • When the chaffinch says "weet, weet," it is an infallible sign of rain.

    Poachers and Poaching John Watson
  • The chaffinch is by far the most abundant bird of our fields and woods; and there is one good reason why it should be so.

    Poachers and Poaching John Watson
  • It is said that it is easier to teach them to go and come than the chaffinch.

British Dictionary definitions for chaffinch


a common European finch, Fringilla coelebs, with black and white wings and, in the male, a reddish body and blue-grey head
Word Origin
Old English ceaffinc, from ceafchaff1 + fincfinch
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
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Word Origin and History for chaffinch

Fringilla cælebs, Old English ceaffinc, literally "chaff-finch," so called for its habit of eating waste grain among the chaff on farms. See chaff + finch.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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