bus·​tard ˈbə-stərd How to pronounce bustard (audio)
: any of a family (Otididae) of large chiefly terrestrial Old World and Australian game birds

Examples of bustard in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web These reptiles were bigger than bustards, bigger than albatrosses, and in 1975 paleontologist Douglas Lawson described what may be the largest flying animal of all time—Quetzalcoatlus, a pterosaur that stood as tall as a giraffe on the ground and had a wingspan 36 feet across. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 Sep. 2023 As any worthwhile polygamous male bustard should!Males of a strongly polygynous species consume more poisonous food than females. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 3 Nov. 2014 The duo worked with the Houbara bustard, a large bird that has been hunted extensively because its meat is prized as an aphrodisiac. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 8 June 2010 This plausibly explains the intense cloaca display males perform to approaching females, and the meticulous inspection females conduct of the male's cloaca, a behaviour only observed in this and another similar species of the bustard family. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 3 Nov. 2014 The great bustard is a beloved but endangered bird found in Spain and other locations scattered across Eurasia. Sarah Stanley, Discover Magazine, 10 Feb. 2011 The researchers collected flowering plants of these two species growing at one of the largest great bustard breeding grounds in central Spain, near Valdetorres del Jarama. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Nov. 2022 Another still-unexploded ordinance is currently nestled into the ground in a bustard’s dwelling. Washington Post, 10 Mar. 2022 The largest great bustard recorded tipped the scales at more than 46 pounds—that’s slightly heavier than a full-size border collie. National Geographic, 15 May 2018 See More

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

Word History


Middle English, modification of Middle French bistarde, from Old Italian bistarda, from Latin avis tarda, literally, slow bird

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bustard was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near bustard

Cite this Entry

“Bustard.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bustard. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

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