1 of 2


often attributive
archaic : the young of a feathered vertebrate
: 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
: a game bird
: fellow
: a peculiar person
chiefly British : girl
chiefly British
: a hissing or jeering sound expressive of disapproval
: dismissal from employment
: a thin piece of meat rolled up with stuffing and cooked
: a man-made object (such as an aircraft, rocket, or satellite) that resembles a bird especially by flying or being aloft
: 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

birdlike adjective

Illustration of bird

Illustration of bird
  • 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


2 of 2


birded; birding; birds

intransitive verb

: to observe or identify wild birds in their habitats
for the birds

Example Sentences

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
However, unlike most bird species, titanosaurs weren’t doting parents. Katie Hunt, CNN, 21 Jan. 2023 Design your garden so that there are different vertical levels, each attracting and providing something important to different bird species. Tim Johnson, Chicago Tribune, 8 Jan. 2023 Docent Mike Gollong will discuss a variety of bird species from the north that make their home at the lagoon from November to April each year. San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Jan. 2023 The area along the river is home to more than 400 bird species, 50 species of reptiles and amphibians and 80 species of mammals. Jake Frederico, The Arizona Republic, 1 Jan. 2023 Winter birding can be a good time to spot bird species that aren’t typically seen in the Greater Boston area during the warmer seasons. Don Lyman,, 30 Dec. 2022 More than 400 bird species have been recorded in this environment, from the bee-eaters, storks and hornbills to the flamingos that inhabit the lake in the southern hemisphere’s summer months. Lauren Jade Hill, Forbes, 29 Dec. 2022 An estimated 65 species of migratory birds are found in the Thane Creek mud flats, which stretch for three square miles, and another 100 bird species live in the surrounding mangrove stands. Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Dec. 2022 Visitors can witness dozens of animals, including elk and bears, more than 300 bird species, and even 290 waterfalls. Bailee Hill, Fox News, 18 Dec. 2022
Visitors will be able to bird watch as well as take a mile-long hike through the sanctuary, which will open to the public this fall. Arkansas Online, 18 July 2022 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 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.

Word History



Middle English brid, bird, from Old English bridd

First Known Use


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


1917, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near bird

Cite this Entry

“Bird.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: any of a class of warm-blooded egg-laying vertebrate animals with the body covered with feathers and the forelimbs modified as wings
: individual sense 2, fellow
especially : a peculiar person


2 of 2 verb
: to observe or identify wild birds in their natural environment
birder noun

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Larry (Joe) 1956–     American basketball player

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