car·​i·​ama | \ ˌkarēˈamə\

Definition of cariama

1 capitalized : a genus of long-legged South American birds (order Gruiformes) having as sole recent representative the Brazilian cariama
2 plural -s : a bird (Cariama cristata) of southern Brazil or a closely related bird (Chunga burmeisteri) of northern Argentina, both being large long-legged birds with short wings and limited powers of flight that feed on berries, insects, and to some extent snakes and lizards and that are usually regarded as related to the cranes and bustards though formerly sometimes included with the birds of prey

called also seriema

— see chunga, crested cariama

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for cariama

New Latin, from Portuguese, seriema, modification of Tupi çariama

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on cariama

What made you want to look up cariama? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to mark by some ceremony or observation

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!