Definition of hummingbird in English:



  • A small nectar-feeding tropical American bird that is able to hover and fly backwards, and typically has colourful iridescent plumage.

    • ‘Like other birds, hummingbirds communicate through both auditory and visual signals.’
    • ‘Without the ability to hover, hummingbirds would not be able to obtain nectar from flowers.’
    • ‘Thus, hummingbirds represent an ideal system in which to gain understanding of how animals achieve energy balance.’
    • ‘The principal characteristic that sets hummingbirds apart from all other birds is their mode of flight.’
    • ‘Nectar-producing plants are very popular for attracting hummingbirds and orioles.’


Mid 17th century: so named because of the humming sound produced by the rapid vibration of the bird's wings.