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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun It is estimated that in New South Wales alone, close to half a billion animals have been affected by the bushfires, with millions of birds, mammals, and reptiles feared dead. TheWeek, "Operation Rock Wallaby is delivering vegetables to hungry animals affected by the Australian bushfires," 12 Jan. 2020 Rahr understood and taught that bears, birds, trees and all the rest depend on the nutrients that salmon bring from the ocean, and that each run of salmon is uniquely adapted to its river. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, "How one man’s passion for fly-fishing led to protecting Russian salmon rivers," 12 Jan. 2020 More than 1 billion birds, reptiles and mammals may have been killed by the fires sweeping across Australian, according to a new estimate from the University of Sydney. Fox News, "Australia’s fires have killed or imperiled 1 billion animals, expert warns," 12 Jan. 2020 In a series of studies, several of us have estimated that two billion native mammals, birds, reptiles, and frogs are killed Australia-wide each year by cats. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "How Many Dead Animals Is 1 Billion Dead Animals?," 10 Jan. 2020 On Wednesday, ecologists from the University of Sydney said over 1 billion animals, including mammals, birds, and reptiles, are feared dead from the crisis. Gabrielle Chung,, "Phoebe Waller-Bridge Auctioning Off Her Golden Globes Suit on eBay to Aid Australian Fire Relief," 9 Jan. 2020 Check out her astonishingly lifelike paper sculptures of bird, bugs, and other creatures. Aric Jenkins, Fortune, "Facebook Drops the Mic on Political Advertising," 9 Jan. 2020 Colin Beale, an ecologist from University of York, tells the that birds, for instance, are likely able to fly away from the fires, while reptiles may be able to burrow into the ground to escape the flames. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, "More Than One Billion Animals Have Been Killed in Australia’s Wildfires, Scientist Estimates," 8 Jan. 2020 Fires are marching so fast across Australia that untold numbers of animals can’t escape, even kangaroos and birds, which should have the means. Matt Simon, Wired, "Wildfires Are Obliterating Australia's Iconic Ecosystems," 8 Jan. 2020 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bird

Time Traveler for bird

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for bird

Last Updated

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bird.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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