plural noun

: a family of American carnivorous birds constituting with a few extinct related forms the suborder Cathartae of Falconiformes and comprising the New World vultures (as the condor, turkey buzzard, or king vulture), all differing from the Old World vultures in many points of structure (as in having pervious nostrils, no ceca, and no syringeal muscles) but resembling them in general appearance and habits and like them feeding chiefly on carrion

Word History


New Latin, from Cathartes, type genus + -idae

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Dictionary Entries Near Cathartidae

Cite this Entry

“Cathartidae.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

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