Definition of siskin in US English:



  • A small songbird related to the goldfinch.

    Genus Carduelis (and Serinus), family Fringillidae: several species, including the pine siskin (C. pinus) of North America, with dark-streaked plumage, notched tail, and touches of yellow on wings and tail

    • ‘Seedeaters such as evening grosbeaks, goldfinches, and pine siskins prefer black oil sunflower and niger thistle.’
    • ‘After a four-winter absence delightful siskins returned to our garden in 1994.’
    • ‘On my way back to the tent I had a male siskin fly down to a puddle just in front of me.’
    • ‘Niger thistle appeals especially to pine siskins, goldfinches, and purple and house finches.’
    • ‘The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reported an outbreak of salmonellosis in pine siskins in the Juneau area last month.’
    • ‘Flocks of mixed finches including siskins bounced along the hedges and down to the wooded beck.’


Mid 16th century: from Middle Dutch siseken, a diminutive related to German Zeisig, of Slavic origin.