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

Opponents say the bill targets the conservation group trying to create a large bison reserve. Washington Post, "Court fight could affect future of bison in Montana," 5 June 2019 Yellowstone National Park is such a destination, with over 4 million visitors a year and bumper-to-bison traffic through summer. Andrew Evans,, "Feel the pull of the prairie on a uniquely American safari in Montana," 5 July 2018 Rattlesnakes are designed to hear the pounding of bison hooves, not the quiet roll of a tire tread. Wes Siler, Outside Online, "How to Survive Encounters with Dangerous Animals," 7 May 2018 Other machines offer products that are hard to find elsewhere, including Buffalo Wool Co., which sells gloves, beanies, socks and other goods made from bison wool online and at trade shows. Alison Sider, WSJ, "Racing for Your Flight but Need a Winter Coat? Try the Airport Vending Machine," 14 Nov. 2018 Another animal attack in Yellowstone: A bison gored a woman on Wednesday in the third animal attack in the Yellowstone National Park this week. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Scott Pruitt takes another significant policy step as controversies swirl," 8 June 2018 As part of the experience, the company set them up with a mountain guide, who helped them enjoy the park’s major draws, including its extensive glaciers, and wildlife like Dall sheep, black and grizzly bears, bison, goats, wolves, and moose. Corina Quinn, Condé Nast Traveler, "'This Is Us’ Actor Justin Hartley Will Convince You to Go Camp in Remote Alaska," 1 Nov. 2018 Located at 3380 Beaver Road, the park is known for its indoor and outdoor exhibits of fossils, a bison herd that is viewable daily, hiking trails and camping. Nancy Daly,, "Fish moved from lake at Big Bone Lick State Historic Site," 4 July 2018 Banff National Park made headlines in early February after 16 wild bison were released back into the area to roam free for the first time in over a century. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "A Bison Calf Was Just Born in Banff National Park for the First Time in 140 Years," 27 Apr. 2017

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

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for bison

The first known use of bison was circa 1611

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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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