avi·​an | \ ˈā-vē-ən How to pronounce avian (audio) \

Definition of avian

: of, relating to, or derived from birds avian behavior avian species

Examples of avian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In 1962 Eero Saarinen revolutionized architecture with his TWA Flight Center, an avian—or maybe alien—shape looming over the the outskirts of John F. Kennedy (then called Idlewild) airport. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Louis Vuitton Wants to Turn Your Bag Into a TV," 9 May 2019 Hummingbirds weren’t the only avian fashion victims. Susan Delson, WSJ, "Fashion’s Glorification—and Devastation—of Nature," 20 Apr. 2018 Many of the avian species around the Bay breed on or close to the ground, and the cats prey on them at their most vulnerable moments — sitting on their eggs or caring for their young. David Streitfeld, New York Times, "As Google Feeds Cats, Owl Lovers Cry Foul," 26 May 2018 Officials say the fowl could potentially spread diseases like avian flu, which is why they're banned from coming here. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Customs Officials Seize 70 Finches Crammed into Hair Rollers at John F. Kennedy Airport," 13 Dec. 2018 But without an entire dinosaur genome, genetic gaps would need to be bridged using other DNA—likely with something avian or reptilian. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Five Ways Real Science Would Make the New Jurassic World So Much Better," 12 June 2018 But where did this avian metaphor come from in the first place? Ben Zimmer, WSJ, "How ‘Lame Duck’ Flew From the Stock Market to Politics," 30 Nov. 2018 That the world’s waterways are overwhelmed with plastic debris that breaks down into microscopic beads, killing off sea and avian life at a terrifying rate. Steve Friess, SELF, "Why Environmentalist Lizzie Carr Is Paddleboarding 170 Miles Down the Hudson River," 7 Sep. 2018 The area has a surprisingly rich biodiversity of avian species, even attracting bald eagles in winter. Todd Plummer, Condé Nast Traveler, "3 Best Day Trips From Boston," 9 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'avian.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of avian

1861, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for avian

Latin avis

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Statistics for avian

Last Updated

17 May 2019

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Time Traveler for avian

The first known use of avian was in 1861

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More Definitions for avian



English Language Learners Definition of avian

technical : of or relating to birds


avi·​an | \ ˈā-vē-ən How to pronounce avian (audio) \

Medical Definition of avian

: of, relating to, or derived from birds

More from Merriam-Webster on avian

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with avian

Britannica English: Translation of avian for Arabic Speakers

Comments on avian

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


one that collects or salvages junk

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