aepyornis

noun ae·py·or·nis \ ˌē-pē-ˈȯr-nəs \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of aepyornis

Origin and Etymology of aepyornis

borrowed from New Latin, genus name, borrowed from Greek aipýs "high, steep, sheer" (probably of substratal origin) + órnis "bird" — more at erne
Note: Genus name coined by Isidore Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire in Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Séances de l'Académie des Sciences, Paris, t. 32 (janvier-juin, 1851), Séance du lundi 27 janvier 1851, "Note sur des ossements et des œufs trouvés à Madagascar, dans des allumions modernes, et provenant d'un Oiseau gigantesque," pp. 101-07. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire renders Greek aipýs as "haut, grand" and the genus name as alta ou magna avis ("tall or big bird"), though aipýs in Ancient Greek is used of things high in an elemental sense such as rocky cliffs or the sky. Greek aipýs has no Indo-European congeners; the intra-Greek comparisons (e.g., aîpsa "straightaway, at once"; exaíphnēs "all of a sudden"; áphnō "unawares"; áphar "speedily, at once") are strongly indicative of a substratal word (alternation of p/ph, i bled from a palatalized consonant).


Learn More about aepyornis


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up aepyornis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!