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Webster 1913 Edition


Bird

Bird

(bẽrd)
,
Noun.
[OE.
brid
,
bred
,
bird
, young bird, bird, AS.
bridd
young bird. √92.]
1.
Orig., a chicken; the young of a fowl; a young eaglet; a nestling; and hence, a feathered flying animal (see 2).
That ungentle gull, the cuckoo’s
bird
.
Shakespeare
The
brydds
[birds] of the aier have nestes.
Tyndale (Matt. viii. 20).
2.
(Zool.)
A warm-blooded, feathered vertebrate provided with wings. See
Aves
.
3.
Specifically, among sportsmen, a game bird.
4.
Fig.: A girl; a maiden.
And by my word! the bonny
bird

In danger shall not tarry.
Campbell.
Arabian bird
,
the phenix.
Bird of Jove
,
the eagle.
Bird of Juno
,
the peacock.
Bird louse
(Zool.)
,
a wingless insect of the group Mallophaga, of which the genera and species are very numerous and mostly parasitic upon birds. – Bird mite
(Zool.)
, a small mite (genera
Dermanyssus
,
Dermaleichus
and allies) parasitic upon birds. The species are numerous.
Bird of passage
,
a migratory bird.
Bird spider
(Zool.)
,
a very large South American spider (
Mygale avicularia
). It is said sometimes to capture and kill small birds.
Bird tick
(Zool.)
,
a dipterous insect parasitic upon birds (genus
Ornithomyia
, and allies), usually winged.

Bird

(bẽrd)
,
Verb.
I.
1.
To catch or shoot birds.
2.
Hence: To seek for game or plunder; to thieve.
[R.]
B. Jonson.

Webster 1828 Edition


Bird

BIRD

,
Noun.
burd.
1.
Properly, a chicken, the young of fowls, and hence a small fowl.
2.
In modern use, any fowl or flying animal.
It is remarkable that a nation should lay aside the use of the proper generic name of flying animals, and substitute the name of the young of those animals, as the generic term. The fact is precisely what it would be to make lamb, the generic name of sheep,or colt, that of the equine genus.

BIRD

,
Verb.
T.
To catch birds.
Bird of paradise, a genus of birds, found in the Oriental isles, and in New Guinea; some of them remarkable beautiful. The beak is covered with a belt or collar of downy feathers at the base, and the feathers on the sides are very long. The longest species is two feet four inches in length. The head and back part of the neck are lemon-colored; the neck of the brightest emerald green, soft like velvet; the breast is black; the wings of a chestnut color. The back part of the body is covered with long straight narrow feathers, of a pale brown color, similar to the plumes of the ostrich. These are spread when the bird flies, for which reason he cannot keep long on the wing. From the rump proceed two long stiff shafts, feathered at the extremities.

Definition 2021


Bird

Bird

See also: bird

English

Alternative forms

Proper noun

Bird

  1. A surname.

bird

bird

See also: Bird

English

Picture dictionary
birdbird
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bird of prey
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bird of prey

parrot
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parrot

passerine
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passerine

ratite
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ratite

seabird
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seabird

shorebird
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shorebird

waterfowl
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waterfowl

Noun

bird (plural birds)

  1. A member of the class of animals Aves in the phylum Chordata, characterized by being warm-blooded, having feathers and wings usually capable of flight, and laying eggs.
    Ducks and sparrows are birds.
    • 2004, Bruce Whittington, Loucas Raptis, Seasons with Birds, page 50:
      The level below this is called the Phylum; birds belong to the Phylum Chordata, which includes all the vertebrate animals (the sub-phylum Vertebrata) and a few odds and ends.
  2. (slang) A man, fellow. [from the mid-19th c.]
    • 1886, Edmund Routledge, Routledge's every boy's annual
      He once took in his own mother, and was robbed by a 'pal,' who thought he was a doctor. Oh, he's a rare bird is 'Gentleman Joe'!
    • 1939, Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep, Penguin 2011, page 24:
      The door opened and a tall hungry-looking bird with a cane and a big nose came in neatly, shut the door behind him against the pressure of the door closer, marched over to the desk and placed a wrapped parcel on the desk.
    • 2006, Jeff Fields, Terry Kay, A cry of angels
      "Ah, he's a funny bird," said Phaedra, throwing a leg over the sill.
  3. (Britain, US, slang) A girl or woman, especially one considered sexually attractive.
    • Campbell
      And by my word! the bonny bird / In danger shall not tarry.
    • 2013, Russell Brand, Russell Brand and the GQ awards: 'It's amazing how absurd it seems' (in The Guardian, 13 September 2013)
      The usual visual grammar was in place – a carpet in the street, people in paddocks awaiting a brush with something glamorous, blokes with earpieces, birds in frocks of colliding colours that if sighted in nature would indicate the presence of poison.
  4. (Britain, Ireland, slang) Girlfriend. [from the early 20th c.]
    Mike went out with his bird last night.
  5. (slang) An airplane.
  6. (slang) A satellite.
    • 1988, Satellite communications. Jan-Oct. 1988
      Deployment of the fourth bird "should ensure that Inmarsat has sufficient capacity in orbit in the early 1990s, taking into account the possibility of launch failures and the age of some of the spacecraft in the Inmarsat first generation system
    • 1992, Cable Vision
      Will a government- backed APSTAR satellite knock out a planned AsiaSat II bird?
    • 2015, John Fuller, Thor's Legions: Weather Support to the U.S. Air Force and Army, 1937-1987, Springer (ISBN 9781935704140), page 384
      In reality, the Air Force was never able to place a bird in orbit that quickly.
  7. (obsolete) A chicken; the young of a fowl; a young eaglet; a nestling.
    • Shakespeare
      That ungentle gull, the cuckoo's bird.
    • Tyndale (Matt. viii. 20)
      The brydds [birds] of the aier have nestes.
Synonyms
Hyponyms
  • See also Wikisaurus:bird
Derived terms
Translations
See also

Verb

bird (third-person singular simple present birds, present participle birding, simple past and past participle birded)

  1. To observe or identify wild birds in their natural environment
  2. To catch or shoot birds.
  3. (figuratively) To seek for game or plunder; to thieve.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Ben Jonson to this entry?)

Etymology 2

Originally Cockney rhyming slang, shortened from bird-lime for "time"

Noun

bird (uncountable)

  1. A prison sentence.
    He’s doing bird.
Synonyms
Translations

Etymology 3

Dated in the mid‐18th Century; derived from the expression “to give the big bird”, as in “to hiss someone like a goose”.

Noun

the bird (uncountable)

  1. The vulgar hand gesture in which the middle finger is extended.
    • 2002, The Advocate, "Flying fickle finger of faith", page 55.
      For whatever reason — and there are so many to chose from — they flipped the bird in the direction of the tinted windows of the Bushmobile.
    • 2003, James Patterson and Peter De Jonge, The Beach House, Warner Books, page 305,
      Then she raised both hands above her shoulders and flipped him the bird with each one.
Derived terms
Translations

Etymology 4

From Malay burung (bird / ****).

Noun

bird (plural birds)

  1. (Asian slang) A ****.
    Don't Touch My Bird.
Translations

References

  • bird” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).

Anagrams