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

Definition of bird

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 2)

intransitive verb

: to observe or identify wild birds in their habitats

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Any rogue object in the air — a drone, a bird or an errant balloon — could be a threat to aircraft safety. Corinne Purtillstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 9 June 2022 To Prokofiev’s ornithological menagerie, which includes a little bird and a duck, Mizrahi has added an ostrich on the lam from the local zoo. The New Yorker, 27 May 2022 At one point a falcon alights on his gloved wrist, and both the bird and Ferry turn to the camera at exactly the same moment — a feat of directing, or possibly of luck. New York Times, 17 May 2022 In a video posted on March 24 to the zoo's Facebook page, a bird and mammal curator explained how Hoffman's two-toed sloths tend to their newborns. Alexandra Schonfeld,, 16 May 2022 By 2100, the report said, climate change is expected to lead to loss of more than half of African bird and mammal species — and a 20% to 25% decline in the productivity of Africa’s lakes and plant species. Wanjohi Kabukuru, ajc, 2 Mar. 2022 For safety, the wildlife division suggests that residents regularly clean their bird feeders and baths and avoid physical contact with wild birds. Daedan Olander, The Salt Lake Tribune, 9 June 2022 Children will learn how to attract birds to their yards by creating take-home bird feeders. Hunter Boyce, ajc, 31 May 2022 In the late 19th century, Americans were wiping out entire bird populations to satisfy the human desire to adorn hats, scarves and coats with feathers. John Kelly, Washington Post, 25 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Birders can bird all weekend or just a few hours, Andersen said. Susan Dunne,, 8 May 2021 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,, 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, 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, 9 Sep. 2015 Outdoor activities are still permitted, including bicycling, birding, boating, fishing, geocaching, hiking and hunting. Chris Sims, The Indianapolis Star, 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, 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, 13 Mar. 2020 The basic tools for birding are not that expensive. Popular Science, 18 Mar. 2020 See More

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.

First Known Use of bird


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


1917, 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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Dictionary Entries Near bird




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Statistics for bird

Last Updated

29 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Bird.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for bird


\ ˈbərd How to pronounce bird (audio) \

Kids Definition of bird

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

Bird biographical name

\ ˈbərd How to pronounce Bird (audio) \

Definition of Bird

Larry (Joe) 1956–     American basketball player

More from Merriam-Webster on bird

Nglish: Translation of bird for Spanish Speakers

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


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