do·​do | \ˈdō-(ˌ)dō \
plural dodoes or dodos

Definition of dodo 

1a : an extinct heavy flightless bird (Raphus cucullatus synonym Didus ineptus of the family Raphidae) of the island of Mauritius that was larger than a turkey and was related to the pigeon

b : an extinct flightless bird (Raphus solitarius) of the island of Réunion similar to and closely related to the dodo

2a : one hopelessly behind the times

b : a stupid person

Illustration of dodo

Illustration of dodo

dodo 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of dodo in a Sentence

That dodo can't do anything right. I feel like a complete dodo.

Recent Examples on the Web

Polemicists lament that cursive is going the way of the dodo. Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times, "Not Your Average Autograph Collection," 12 July 2018 The discovery casts serious doubt on a popular theory that the dodo had been kept alive in a townhouse in 17th-century London. James Rogers, Fox News, "Who shot the dodo? Technology reveals famous bird's violent end," 20 Apr. 2018 Question: What do the camel guys do while these two dodos drink Chardonnay and make out in a hot tub? Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "The Bachelorette Season 14 Episode 5 Recap: These Guys Are All the Worst," 25 June 2018 Like the dodo and the great auk, the tiger found a curious immortality as a global icon of extinction, more renowned for the tragedy of its death than for its life, about which little is known. Brooke Jarvis, The New Yorker, "The Obsessive Search for the Tasmanian Tiger," 16 Jan. 2012 The dodo’s remains are the only known specimen of the now-extinct species to contain soft tissue and extractable DNA. James Rogers, Fox News, "Who shot the dodo? Technology reveals famous bird's violent end," 20 Apr. 2018 With the enormous improvements in power per cylinder in the past decade, eight-cylinder cars are increasingly going the way of the dodo, and the vast majority of gasoline-powered cars will be running on four or even three cylinders soon. Ray Magliozzi,, "More cylinders do not mean longer engine life," 4 May 2018 During the five years of the Rob Hennigan era, the Magic used a dodo bird. Mike Bianchi,, "Former UCF coordinator wants no part of "national championship" rings, but he kept the bonus," 27 Apr. 2018 But the evolutionary adaptations and life history of the dodo remains somewhat hazy. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Murder Most Fowl: Forensic Scan Shows the Legendary Oxford Dodo Was Shot," 20 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dodo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of dodo

1628, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for dodo

Portuguese doudo, from doudo silly, stupid

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dodo

Dictionary Entries near dodo

do dinner/lunch







Statistics for dodo

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dodo

The first known use of dodo was in 1628

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dodo



English Language Learners Definition of dodo

: a type of bird that lived in the past and that was large, heavy, and unable to fly

: a stupid or silly person


do·​do | \ˈdō-dō \
plural dodoes or dodos

Kids Definition of dodo

: a large heavy bird unable to fly that once lived on some of the islands of the Indian Ocean

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on dodo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dodo

Spanish Central: Translation of dodo

Nglish: Translation of dodo for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about dodo

Comments on dodo

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


playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
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!