a small Old World finch, Carduelis cannabina.
any of various related birds, as the house finch.

1520–30; earlier linet < Middle French (Walloon, Picard) linette (French linot, linotte), derivative of lin flax (cf. line1; so named for its diet of flaxseeds); see -et Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To linnet
World English Dictionary
linnet (ˈlɪnɪt)
1.  a brownish Old World finch, Acanthis cannabina: the male has a red breast and forehead
2.  Also called: house finch a similar and related North American bird, Carpodacus mexicanus
[C16: from Old French linotte, ultimately from Latin līnum flax (because the bird feeds on flaxseeds)]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

"small finch-like songbird," c.1530, from M.Fr. linette "grain of flax," dim. of lin "flax," from L. linum "linen" (see linen). Flaxseed forms much of the bird's diet. O.E. name for the bird was linetwige, with second element perhaps meaning "pluck." This yielded M.E. and dial. lintwhite.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


(Carduelis, sometimes Acanthis, cannabina), seed-eating European finch of the family Carduelidae (order Passeriformes). It is 13 centimetres (5 inches) long and brown streaked, with a white-edged forked tail; the crown and breast of the male is red. It is a hedgerow singer, and flocks forage for seeds in open country.

Learn more about linnet with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Related Words
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature