buz·​zard | \ ˈbə-zərd How to pronounce buzzard (audio) \

Definition of buzzard

1 chiefly British : buteo
2 : any of various usually large birds of prey (such as the turkey vulture)
3 : a contemptible or rapacious person

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Synonyms & Antonyms for buzzard



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In Britain, the word buzzard refers chiefly to several birds of prey of the hawk genus Buteo. In North America, a buzzard is any of various New World vultures, especially the turkey vulture. In Australia, a large hawk of the genus Hamirostra is called a black-breasted buzzard. Buteos, also called buzzard hawks, can usually be distinguished when soaring by their broad wings and expansive rounded tail. The plumage of most species is dark brown above and white or mottled brown below; the tail and underside of the wings are usually barred. Buteos customarily prey on insects, small mammals, and occasionally birds. They nest in trees or on cliffs. Species range over much of the New World, Eurasia, and Africa. The red-tailed hawk, the most common North American buteo, is about 2 ft (60 cm) long.

Examples of buzzard in a Sentence

the real estate buzzards were really putting pressure on the one homeowner who was still refusing to sell that crotchety old man can be a real buzzard when he's in a bad mood—which is usually the case
Recent Examples on the Web No-hitters at times can reflect a team’s poor fortunes – a series of line drives hit directly at fielders, or a defender making a dazzling play to rob a batter and reinforce the buzzard’s luck surrounding the squad. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 22 May 2021 Still, this is without question a great hire for UCF, which was searching for a coach late in the game after Josh Heupel fell for Tennessee like a buzzard for a landfill. Joseph Goodman |, al, 15 Feb. 2021 Weekend 1 of the rest of our vile virus lives perched like a buzzard over our collective behavior this weekend. Paul Daugherty,, 18 May 2020 As military governor of the city, so the legend goes, Funston presided over a clean-up so thorough that buzzards left town, since there was nothing left to scavenge. Paula Allen,, 4 Apr. 2020 That could be some sort of vision, a buzzard eating a dead bobcat. al, 21 Mar. 2020 In February of 1994, two hunters found the unidentified man’s body after noticing buzzards circling in the area, authorities said. Andrea Cavallier, NBC News, 14 Feb. 2020 And other teams continue to circle over the Pistons' roster like buzzards in the desert. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, 20 Jan. 2020 By December, all that remain are the clean-up crew — hawks, owls, buzzards — the noisemakers — crows, jays, woodpeckers — and the winter flock of dusky little ones. Richard Brookhiser, National Review, 19 Dec. 2019

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for buzzard

Middle English busard, from Old French, alteration of buison, from Latin buteon, buteo hawk

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Time Traveler for buzzard

Time Traveler

The first known use of buzzard was in the 14th century

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Statistics for buzzard

Last Updated

4 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Buzzard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of buzzard

US : a kind of large bird that eats animals that are already dead
British : a kind of large hawk


buz·​zard | \ ˈbə-zərd How to pronounce buzzard (audio) \

Kids Definition of buzzard

: a usually large bird of prey that flies slowly

More from Merriam-Webster on buzzard

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for buzzard

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


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