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

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 Louie’s parents would have measured some 25 feet long and weighed more than three tons, Erika Engelhaupt writes for National Geographic, and likely would have resembled the giant cassowary. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Infant Dinosaur Found Still Encased in Its Egg Identified as New Species," 10 May 2017 Cassie — whose name is derived from the cassowary (KASS’-uh-WAIR’-ee), a flightless bird similar to an ostrich — stands upright on legs with backward-facing knees. Washington Post, "U. of Michigan expert puts bird-like robot through its paces," 30 Oct. 2017 The headgear of Corythoraptor resembles that of a cassowary, the flightless bird of Australia and New Guinea famous for its prominent headgear and terrifying talons. Brian Switek, Scientific American Blog Network, "Paleo Profile: The Crested Thief," 4 Aug. 2017 Emus are a stately five to six feet (one to two meters) long, and cassowaries and greater rheas aren’t far behind. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "World’s Biggest Birds Are Stellar Dads and Unusual Lovers," 3 Sep. 2016 Today’s ostriches, rheas, and cassowaries are not substitutes for the terror birds, just as the fact that birds are living dinosaurs provides little solace for those who have the impossible wish of seeing a living Tyrannosaurus or Allosaurus. Brian Switek, WIRED, "Terror Birds Ain’t What They Used to Be – A Titanis Take-Down," 12 Feb. 2011

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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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cassowary Encyclopedia article about cassowary

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