\ ä-ˈnē , ˈä-nē \

Definition of ani

: any of a genus (Crotophaga) of black cuckoos of the warmer parts of America

First Known Use of ani

1773, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ani

borrowed from New Latin, perhaps erroneously for Tupi *anúʔí (whence Brazilian Portuguese anuí "smooth-billed ani"), from anú "ani" + ʔí "small"

Note: As with other Brazilian animal names, this word originates with Georg Marcgrave and Willem Piso's Historia naturalis Brasiliae (Leiden and Amsterdam, 1648): "ANI Brasiliensibus; Avis Turdellae magnitudine, totaliter nigra, pennis, rostro, oculis, pedibus" ("Ani by the [native] Brazilians; a bird the size of a thrush, completely black—feathers, beak, eyes, feet") (p. 193). The corresponding Tupi word is anú (phonetically both vowels would be nasalized)—whence Portuguese anu, anum, described already by Gabriel Soares de Sousa in 1587 (see Antônio Geraldo da Cunha, Dicionário histórico das palavras portuguesas de origem tupi, São Paulo, 1978). It is not clear how Marcgrave arrived at a final i.

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Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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The first known use of ani was in 1773

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Medical Definition of ani

 (Entry 1 of 2)

plural of anus


Medical Definition of ani (Entry 2 of 2)

More from Merriam-Webster on ani

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ani Encyclopedia article about ani

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