cas·​so·​wary ˈka-sə-ˌwer-ē How to pronounce cassowary (audio)
plural cassowaries
: any of a genus (Casuarius) of large ratite birds chiefly of New Guinea and northern Australia that have a horny casque on the head and are closely related to the emu

Examples of cassowary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the cassowary’s world, males are tasked with child-rearing responsibilities. Katie Liu, Discover Magazine, 9 Jan. 2024 This is the cassowary, one of the largest and also most dangerous birds in the world. Katie Liu, Discover Magazine, 9 Jan. 2024 Additionally, those who live in areas native to cassowaries should be cautious while driving and make sure their pets are leashed or in a fenced area when outside. Kelli Bender, Peoplemag, 17 Nov. 2023 It was known elephant birds were ratites—an ancient group of mostly big, flightless birds, including emus and cassowaries from Australia, ostriches from Africa, rheas from South America and others. Flora Lichtman, Scientific American, 2 June 2023 There, guests will have a chance to see more than 400 species of birds, including the cassowary. Stefanie Waldek, Travel + Leisure, 15 May 2023 Outdoors, a handful of other species—including cranes, flamingoes, roseate spoonbills and cassowaries—can be seen in enclosures. Carlyn Kranking, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Feb. 2023 But thousands of years ago though, humans could care less about the dangers these birds posed, and raised them to near-adulthood, possibly making the cassowary the first bird managed by humans, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science on Monday. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 30 Sep. 2021 Flightless, aggressive and standing two meters tall, with razor-sharp claws and the ability to jump, the cassowary is an Australian native that has the reputation of being the most dangerous bird in the world. Patrick Frater, Variety, 13 Mar. 2023

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

Word History


Malay kĕsuari, from an Austronesian language of the Moluccas

First Known Use

1611, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cassowary was in 1611

Dictionary Entries Near cassowary

Cite this Entry

“Cassowary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


cas·​so·​wary ˈkas-ə-ˌwer-ē How to pronounce cassowary (audio)
plural cassowaries
: any of several tall swift-running birds of New Guinea and Australia that are closely related to the emu

More from Merriam-Webster on cassowary

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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