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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The cassowary is one of the world's most dangerous birds. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, 19 July 2018 But apparently a ferocious bird known as a cassowary was one of the first animals raised by humans, roughly 18,000 years ago, according to new research. Jordan Mendoza, USA TODAY, 30 Sep. 2021 Eliason suspected that flightlessness might have given cassowaries more evolutionary room to develop their odd-shaped feathers. Katie Hunt, CNN, 13 May 2020 No such direct contact is allowed with another colorful Australian native, the cassowary. San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 June 2019 The bird was a flightless, exotic cassowary being bred. Eve Rosen,, 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, 1 Aug. 2019 Hike through the lush vegetation to see cassowaries, crocodiles, tree kangaroos, and other endemic wildlife. National Geographic, 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, 5 May 2018 See More

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.

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 24 Mar. 2023.

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

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