bi·​son ˈbī-sᵊn How to pronounce bison (audio) -zᵊn How to pronounce bison (audio)
plural bison
: any of several large living or extinct bovine mammals (genus Bison) that have a long, broad head, short, hollow horns, heavy forequarters, a large muscular hump across the shoulders, and a shaggy mane on the head and lower neck and that typically live and migrate in herds: such as
bisontine adjective

Examples of bison in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web So were habitat-altering ecosystem engineers like beavers, woodpeckers, bison and prairie dogs. Lesley Evans Ogden, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 May 2024 The birds, along with other success stories like the gray whale, American bison, and bald eagle, are commonly cited as an example of how species that are in serious decline can be rescued if scientists, conservation groups and political leaders work together. Paul Rogers, The Mercury News, 3 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for bison 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bison.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin bisont-, bison, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German wisant aurochs; akin to Old Prussian wissambrs aurochs

First Known Use

circa 1611, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bison was circa 1611

Dictionary Entries Near bison

Cite this Entry

“Bison.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


plural bison
: any of several large shaggy-maned mammals related to the ox with a large head, short horns, and a large fleshy hump above the shoulders
especially : buffalo sense c

More from Merriam-Webster on bison

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