bi·​son | \ ˈbī-sᵊn, -zᵊn \
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 , -​zᵊn-​ \ adjective

Examples of bison in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

There's a choice of beef, turkey, bison and chicken burgers. Polly Campbell,, "New and Noted: A roundup of recent restaurant news," 7 Mar. 2018 The menu starts off with steamed lobster tails with New England clam chowder sauce followed by hickory grilled bison with red potato horseradish cake and wild huckleberry reduction. House Beautiful, "The Inaugural Ceremony: What to Expect from the Luncheon," 17 Jan. 2013 Yellowstone bison taunter reportedly sentenced to jail. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Trump Organization may face charges over Cohen hush money; Trump vs. Sessions escalates," 24 Aug. 2018 Zinke spokeswoman Heather Swift declined to comment directly on Wenk's assertions or the issue of bison management. Matthew Brown,, "Yellowstone head says Trump administration forcing him out. The reason: too many bison.," 7 June 2018 Austin even noted where large herds of animals like bison and horses were residing for those that were curious. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "One of the most rare early maps of Texas debuts at Texas A&M," 19 Apr. 2018 Visiting it with tour company Wild Poland during their weeklong Winter Wildlife Festival (Jan. 19-26) affords travelers the opportunity to see the continent’s largest population of wild bison, along with more elusive fauna like wolves and lynx. Nina Sovich, WSJ, "Europe in Winter: 35 Reasons to Visit Off-Season," 21 Nov. 2018 But soon after, the bison turned around and ran toward Reinke, who skittered away. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "Yellowstone bison taunter reportedly sentenced to jail," 23 Aug. 2018 Once, in summer 2017, wolves chased a herd of bison into the fields, and the herd parked itself right in the scientists’ return path. Ula Chrobak, Outside Online, "This Scientist Learns About Life on Mars in Yellowstone," 18 June 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

13 Jan 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, -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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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