Definition of titmouse in English:



  • A small songbird that searches acrobatically for insects among foliage and branches.

    • ‘Perhaps our best birder poet, he has written memorably about chickadees, towhees, titmice, owls, great blue herons, pelicans, kingfishers, and many others, always effacing himself before the glory of the thing seen.’
    • ‘Chickadees called occasionally, but never titmice.’
    • ‘As soon as the jays leave, the titmice take turns.’
    • ‘A mockingbird sang nonstop, sometimes making up his own phrases, sometimes mimicking a bluebird, sometimes mimicking a titmouse.’
    • ‘Surely there was gaiety in summer, but for now, gray titmice moved close to the ground, almost silent, probably killing the insects who only wanted to sleep until spring.’


Middle English: from tit + obsolete mose titmouse. The change in the ending in the 16th century was due to association with mouse, probably because of the bird's size and quick movements.