noun, often attributive
\ ˈbərd How to pronounce bird (audio) \

Definition of bird

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 archaic : the young of a feathered vertebrate
2 : any of a class (Aves) of warm-blooded vertebrates distinguished by having the body more or less completely covered with feathers and the forelimbs modified as wings
3 : a game bird
5a : fellow
b : a peculiar person
c chiefly British : girl
7 chiefly British
a : a hissing or jeering sound expressive of disapproval
b : dismissal from employment
8 : a thin piece of meat rolled up with stuffing and cooked
9 : a man-made object (such as an aircraft, rocket, or satellite) that resembles a bird especially by flying or being aloft
10 : an obscene gesture of contempt made by pointing the middle finger upward while keeping the other fingers down usually used with the

called also finger

for the birds


birded; birding; birds

Definition of bird (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to observe or identify wild birds in their habitats


biographical name
\ ˈbərd How to pronounce Bird (audio) \

Definition of Bird (Entry 3 of 3)

Larry (Joe) 1956–     American basketball player

Illustration of bird

Illustration of bird


bird 2 (kingfisher): 1 crest, 2 crown, 3 bill, 4 throat, 5 auricular region, 6 breast, 7 scapulars, 8 abdomen, 9 tarsus, 10 upper wing coverts, 11 primaries, 12 secondaries, 13 rectrix, 14 tail

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from bird


birdlike \ ˈbərd-​ˌlīk How to pronounce birdlike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of bird in a Sentence

Noun A large bird flew overhead. The birds were singing outside our window. He's a tough old bird. We met some smashing birds at the pub last night.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In 1961, flocks of birds in Capitola were behaving erratically — flying into buildings and trees — and the incident was covered in the local newspaper, which Hitchcock read. Justin Phillips,, "The secret Richmond lab where Bay Area crab season annually learns its fate," 28 Nov. 2019 But around the early 16th century, when European seaman discovered the large auk populations of Newfoundland, the killing of the birds reached rapacious levels. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Humans May Be Solely to Blame for the Great Auk’s Extinction," 28 Nov. 2019 And with the average turkey weighing 30 pounds, Americans will consume nearly 1.4 billion pounds of bird. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "We’ll eat 46 million turkeys this Thanksgiving, plus 5 more holiday factoids," 28 Nov. 2019 The majority of the birds that have been photographed this winter are adults, which might indicate a lower number of juveniles were born over the summer, according to the DNR. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Snowy owls are moving back into Wisconsin for the winter," 26 Nov. 2019 The splatter then could attract flocks of birds, causing further problems, according to the Post's reporting. Fox News, "Hares in Ireland being sucked into plane engines near Dublin Airport, reports say," 25 Nov. 2019 Source: Terra Studios More than 8 million of the handmade birds have been sold since the early 1980s, according to Terra Studios. Mary Jordan, Arkansas Online, "Cold furnace means end of Arkansas' Bluebirds," 24 Nov. 2019 About 850 of the birds are alive today, all descended from 15 that lived in coastal Texas in the 1940s. Frank Sargeant, al, "Outdoors notebook: FLW Pro Circuit schedules bass tourney on Lake Martin," 24 Nov. 2019 First, let’s start with the fact that it gets cooked outside of the bird. Emily Schultz, Bon Appétit, "The Simple-Is-Best Stuffing BA Editors Make Year After Year," 22 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb More than 20 experts will give presentations on topics ranging from birding hotspots to carving wooden birds. Phil Marty,, "Dive into Native American culture in Indiana, enjoy some pampering with a Packers game and more Midwest events," 30 Aug. 2019 The nearby Florida Everglades is one of the Top 5 birding destinations in North America, according to Birdwatchers Daily. Ben Crandell,, "Hard Rock Guitar Hotel: 10 things to know about that dynamic light show," 15 Nov. 2019 Make Saffire Freycinet your base to explore the island’s rugged landscape, from Hazards Mountain hikes to bird watching in the Great Swanport Estuary. Louise Hart, Town & Country, "4 International Itineraries for a Vacation Fit for a Royal," 7 Nov. 2019 To gauge eastern grays’ sensitivity to bird conversations, Tarvin and then-undergraduates Marie Lilly and Emma Lucore designed an experiment centered on Oberlin’s squirrel population. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Squirrels Eavesdrop on Birds to Check If Danger Has Passed," 6 Sep. 2019 Both Katie and the others embraced birding early on, joining bird clubs at their respective elementary schools. Mike Klingaman,, "Harford youngsters’ interest in birding is piqued through programs in the county," 20 Aug. 2019 Though fledgling bird-watchers, Nick and Ellie are among the youngsters involved in birding in Harford County, where several grade schools pique their interest with engaging programs in ornithology, even if some kids can’t yet spell the word. Mike Klingaman,, "Harford youngsters’ interest in birding is piqued through programs in the county," 20 Aug. 2019 This area features 7,155 acres of bottomland forest along the Sipsey River available for canoeing, birding, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, biking, picnicking and wildlife photography. Frank Sargeant,, "Lake Eufaula turns out huge catches in Alabama Bass Trail Event," 19 June 2019 Download the Great Birding Guide from the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council to find the area's top birding locations. Houston Chronicle, "Have fun in Galveston without breaking the bank," 14 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bird.' 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 bird


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1893, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bird


Middle English brid, bird, from Old English bridd

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Time Traveler for bird

Time Traveler

The first known use of bird was before the 12th century

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Statistics for bird

Last Updated

4 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Bird.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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More Definitions for bird


How to pronounce Bird (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of bird

: an animal that has wings and is covered with feathers


\ ˈbərd How to pronounce bird (audio) \

Kids Definition of bird

: an animal that lays eggs and has wings and a body covered with feathers

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More from Merriam-Webster on bird

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bird

Spanish Central: Translation of bird

Nglish: Translation of bird for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bird for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about bird

Comments on bird

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


easily led, controlled, or managed

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