cas·​so·​wary | \ ˈka-sə-ˌwer-ē How to pronounce cassowary (audio) \
plural cassowaries

Definition of cassowary

: 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 Eliason suspected that flightlessness might have given cassowaries more evolutionary room to develop their odd-shaped feathers. Katie Hunt, CNN, "How the world's most dangerous bird got its unique feathers," 13 May 2020 No such direct contact is allowed with another colorful Australian native, the cassowary. San Diego Union-Tribune, "‘Roos, geese, and a blue-tongued lizard: Behind the scenes at San Diego Zoo Safari Park," 8 June 2019 The bird was a flightless, exotic cassowary being bred. Eve Rosen,, "Bird in deadly Florida attack severed artery in man’s arm," 28 Aug. 2019 According to the San Diego Zoo, emus typically weigh less than 120 pounds and stand between 5 and 6 feet tall, far smaller than their more menacing relatives, the ostrich and cassowary. Scottie Andrew And Katherine Dillinger, CNN, "There's an emu on the loose in North Carolina, and nobody's been quick enough to catch it," 1 Aug. 2019 Hike through the lush vegetation to see cassowaries, crocodiles, tree kangaroos, and other endemic wildlife. National Geographic, "Australia High School Expedition," 17 June 2019 Although cassowaries were believed to possess a mystical and powerful strength, which could be co-opted and added to one's own prowess when holding the dagger, explained Dominy. Katy Scott, CNN, "Why warriors in New Guinea used human bones as formidable daggers," 5 May 2018 Selection of some — such as the cassowaries, large flightless birds, cherished by the original inhabitants of New Britain (part of New Guinea), and the pigeons kept as pets in Samoa — seems to have been more arbitrary. Longreads, "The Way We Treat Our Pets Is More Paleolithic Than Medieval," 22 Mar. 2018 Wild animals—kangaroos, dingoes, cassowaries, giant tortoises—roamed on the grounds of the ancestral pile. Franz Lidz, Smithsonian, "The Great Feather Heist," 21 Mar. 2018

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

1611, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cassowary

Malay kĕsuari, from an Austronesian language of the Moluccas

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The first known use of cassowary was in 1611

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Cite this Entry

“Cassowary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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