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 This increases the risks of zoonotic disease outbreaks in which, for example, a virus makes the jump from a mammal or bird species to humans. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "These megacities could become breeding grounds for the next pandemic, scientists say," 27 Nov. 2020 Unlike most companies, Target didn’t go big on early-bird deals, and instead saved its dramatic markdowns for Black Friday itself. Shanna Shipin, Glamour, "The Best Target Black Friday Deals of 2020," 27 Nov. 2020 Over the last 20 years of her life, Dreier suffered from lupus, an autoimmune disease that sometimes limited her work, her music and her avid bird-watching. Erin Golden, Star Tribune, "Annette Dreier, among first to marry in Minneapolis when same-sex unions legalized, dies at 61," 18 Nov. 2020 Amy Cooper, the white woman in Central Park who called police on a Black man bird watching, called authorities a second time and falsely accused the man of trying to assault her, prosecutors say. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "White woman in Central Park called 911 a second time on Black birdwatcher, prosecutors say," 14 Oct. 2020 On the trip, the family reportedly did a bit of bird-watching before disembarking to hike up to the summit of Mount Gower, a nearly nine-mile hike that must be done with a guide due to its rugged terrain. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "Chris Hemsworth Just Took His Entire Family to Australia's Secret Island Paradise," 14 Oct. 2020 In other words, this monocular telescope, which can also be paired with mobile phones for taking pictures and videos from a distance, is great for sporting events, concerts, bird watching, camping, fishing, and traveling. Popular Science, "Celebrate the 10.10 Shopping Festival with these 10 amazing deals," 12 Oct. 2020 But not even pellets offer a complete meal for every bird. Star Tribune, "Don't feed your parrot only seed," 13 Nov. 2020 And in fact, feeding phalaropes can peck up to 180 times per minute, faster than any other bird. Erica Tennenhouse, Science | AAAS, "Watch rare shorebirds engage in a synchronized water dance," 12 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb On Monday, a white woman named Amy Cooper went viral for threatening the life of a Black man, Christian Cooper (no relation), who was just trying to bird watch in Central Park in peace. Kathleen Newman-bremang,, "The Pandemic Of Black Trauma Will Never End," 1 June 2020 Outdoor activities like trail running, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, birding, fishing, kayaking, traditional golf and disc golf are perfect for social distancing. Josh Woods, The Conversation, "How lingering fears from the pandemic could change the way we watch and play sports," 22 May 2020 For a taste of nature, Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, located on the north side of town, offers birding and wildlife viewing as well as miles of walking trails. David James, Anchorage Daily News, "Exploring Fairbanks, the Golden Heart City," 9 Sep. 2015 Outdoor activities are still permitted, including bicycling, birding, boating, fishing, geocaching, hiking and hunting. Chris Sims, The Indianapolis Star, "Prepare to pay fees at Indiana state parks starting May 15," 15 May 2020 With many birding hotspots closed and organized outings canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, birders have been forced to hang up their binoculars. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Take a Virtual Bird Walk With the Atlanta Audubon Society," 24 Apr. 2020 The Piney Woods Wildlife Society coordinates birding field trips for its members, and meets the third Wednesday of most months at the Dennis Johnston Park Big Stone Lodge in Spring. Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, "Active bald eagle nest in Tomball garners attention," 13 Mar. 2020 The basic tools for birding are not that expensive. Popular Science, "How to start birding in any US city," 18 Mar. 2020 Mild temperatures and migrations make fall a great time for birding in San Diego. Ernie Cowan, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Ladder-backed woodpecker is fond of the desert," 19 Sep. 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

1 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bird.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

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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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