bi·​son | \ ˈbī-sᵊn How to pronounce bison (audio) , -zᵊn How to pronounce bison (audio) \
plural bison

Definition of bison

: any of several large shaggy-maned usually gregarious recent or extinct bovine mammals (genus Bison) having a large head with short horns and heavy forequarters surmounted by a large fleshy hump: such as
a : wisent

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Other Words from bison

bisontine \ ˈbī-​sᵊn-​ˌtīn How to pronounce bisontine (audio) , -​zᵊn-​ \ adjective

Examples of bison in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Pear salads were served to start followed by bison short rib (for some Colorado flair!), cod, and chicken. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "Model Emily DiDonato Marries With Breathtaking Views of the Colorado Mountains in the Background," 20 July 2018 Moose and bison heads and mounted fish overlook rows of dip nets and more than 1,000 kinds of fishing rods. Anchorage Daily News, "‘Pretty devastating’: After years of poor king salmon runs, renowned Kenai River sport fishing community adjusts," 7 July 2018 Try the BFLO Bramble, made with bison grass vodka, blackberries and mint ($10). Amy Thomas, New York Times, "36 Hours in Buffalo," 28 June 2018 For instance, some parks will take large vegetables to feed to herds of bison. Robin Tribble, Popular Mechanics, "How to Grow a Giant Pumpkin," 24 Jan. 2019 Fire leads to new growth, something bison find hard to resist. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Native Americans managed the prairie for better bison hunts," 25 July 2018 The book offers advice from wildlife biologists and researchers on how to handle interactions with 50 animals, including bears and bison to mountain lions and moose. New York Times, "5 Simple Tips to Handle a Wild Animal Encounter on Vacation," 5 July 2018 As far as food, the feature is game and especially bison (aka buffalo), with some 70,000 orders served annually. Larry Olmsted, USA TODAY, "Pair game meat and period cocktails in Colorado," 13 June 2018 For millennia, indigenous groups like the Iyarhe Nakoda ventured here to hunt big game like caribou and bison. Sunset, "Banff & Jasper 101," 22 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bison.' 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 bison

circa 1611, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for bison

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

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Statistics for bison

Last Updated

10 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for bison

The first known use of bison was circa 1611

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More Definitions for bison



English Language Learners Definition of bison

: a large, hairy wild animal that has a big head and short horns


bi·​son | \ ˈbī-sᵊn How to pronounce bison (audio) , -zᵊn\
plural bison

Kids Definition of bison

: a large animal with short horns and a shaggy mane that is related to the cows and oxen

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More from Merriam-Webster on bison

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bison

Spanish Central: Translation of bison

Nglish: Translation of bison for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about bison

Comments on bison

What made you want to look up bison? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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