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 This is in part due to the bison's diet and habits. Wyatte Grantham-philips, USA TODAY, "'Best chance we have': Wild bison will return to the UK for the first time in 6,000 years," 11 July 2020 In Yellowstone last month, a woman was knocked down by a bison after getting too close. National Geographic, "How do you steer clear of dangerous animals?," 11 June 2020 In March, Deion Broxton, a reporter for NBC Montana, was interrupted by a herd of bison while on the job. Steve Kiggins, USA TODAY, "'A threatened bison may charge': California woman gored at Yellowstone National Park while trying to get a photo," 30 June 2020 Visitors are required to stay at least 25 yards away from large animals, including bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose and coyotes, and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves. CBS News, "Wild bison gores 72-year-old woman in Yellowstone after she got too close," 30 June 2020 The park also offers bison watching, Discovery Trail walking, bird-watching and hiking. Charles Infosino,, "Strapped for cash? Check out these free family-friendly venues in Cincinnati," 16 June 2020 Hawken might have sufficed for a Rocky Mountain fur trapper and even a bison market hunter. Ron Spomer, Outdoor Life, "The Most Iconic Rifles and Cartridges from African Safaris," 11 June 2020 Visitors also can drive the park's 3-mile route to see wolves, black bears, bison and other North American wildlife. Kimi Robinson, azcentral, "Bearizona is getting its first grizzly bear cubs. Here's how to visit the drive-thru park," 1 June 2020 Instead, a 20-mile gravel road and a 2.5-mile walking trail lets visitors take in the herds of bison and flocks of birds making a home in the rocky hills’ abundant grasses. Rachel Brown, National Geographic, "For this Native community, photography has harmed—and healed," 19 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for bison

Time Traveler

The first known use of bison was circa 1611

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Statistics for bison

Last Updated

17 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Bison.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for bison


How to pronounce bison (audio) How to pronounce bison (audio)

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

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