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 Bird (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 Other sculptures on Price Real Estate properties in Salt Lake City include an ostrich, a rhinoceros and a historical steel gantry crane beam with a bronze bird on top. Rick Egan, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Photos: Sumo wrestler sculpture unveiled on South Temple in SLC," 30 Mar. 2021 There's nothing like walking outside to discover a bird dropped a few bombs on your clean car. Micolette Davis, Chron, "7 April Fool's pranks and gags you can order from Amazon," 29 Mar. 2021 Arizona Diamondbacks' Randy Johnson killed a bird with a pitch 20 years ago Cardinals' latest OL addition Brian Winters gives new meaning to 'pulling guard' Sweet 16 NCAA Tournament picks, predictions: Which teams will advance to Elite 8? Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, "Nationally ranked Sandra Day O'Connor softball carries big target with every game pivotal," 25 Mar. 2021 In most cases involving airliners, if a bird gets sucked into an engine, a flight is forced to return for landing. Victoria Ballard,, "Bird strike forces JetBlue flight to Peru to return to Fort Lauderdale airport," 23 Mar. 2021 The dazzling plaster of the Nymphaeum is down to a single tile painted with a little bird. Jason Horowitz, Town & Country, "Inside Caligula's Pleasure Palace, History's Original Hype House," 22 Mar. 2021 That’s something his grandfather often said when a calf was born a runt and couldn’t eat, or a baby bird had fallen from its nest for the cats to find. Jeffrey Ann Goudie,, "Two boys go on the lam in debut novel ‘Raft of Stars’," 18 Mar. 2021 In a bridge-and-tunnel collage of my real life, Mario Schifano is painting pigeon flight paths on the boxing billboard out front, and Frank O’Hara can write my full name on a bird. Matthew Carey Salyer, Forbes, "Italian Pop Art Stays On The Streets: CIMA’s Mario Schifano Exhibition," 17 Mar. 2021 Even if a vocal bird goes quiet, Fulcher likes to settle into a good hiding spot, get comfortable, and wait him out. Will Brantley, Field & Stream, "The 7 Best Days of the Strut, 2021," 15 Mar. 2021 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

6 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bird.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for bird



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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Comments on bird

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