Definition of chiffchaff in US English:



  • A migratory Eurasian and North African leaf warbler with drab plumage.

    Genus Phylloscopus, family Sylviidae: two species, in particular the common P. collybita

    • ‘People on the one to two-hour guided walks may also hear warblers such as the blackcap, the garden warbler, the reed warbler, the sedge warbler and the chiffchaff.’
    • ‘In another group of bushes I found a chiffchaff hopping around.’
    • ‘Meanwhile birds like blackcaps and chiffchaffs, which are wintering closer to home, are less likely to face bad timing with their food supply.’
    • ‘Any other two species with DNA this close (willow warblers and chiffchaffs for instance) are invariably considered members of the same genus.’
    • ‘Great-spotted woodpeckers drum while chiffchaffs, blackcaps, chaffinches and wrens sing their hearts out.’


Late 18th century: imitative of its call.