Definition of Ratitae
in some classifications
: a superordinal group of birds comprising forms with small or rudimentary wings, no pygostyle, and no keel to the breastbone that are nonetheless evidently descended from birds with the power of flight, including the ostriches, rheas, cassowaries and emus, elephant birds, moas, and kiwis, and usually constituting a primary subdivision of the subclass Neornithes
Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.
Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:
- More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
- Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
- Advanced search features
- Ad free!
Origin and Etymology of ratitae
New Latin, from Latin, feminine plural of ratitus marked with the figure of a raft, from ratis raft; perhaps akin to Latin rete net
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up Ratitae? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).