do·​do | \ ˈdō-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce dodo (audio) \
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

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Examples of dodo in a Sentence

That dodo can't do anything right. I feel like a complete dodo.
Recent Examples on the Web The enigmatic pop star has gone the way of the dodo bird. Keyaira Boone, Essence, 3 June 2021 Ornithologists speculate that the seeds of the tambalacoque had to pass through a dodo’s gut to germinate. Barry Estabrook, WSJ, 9 Oct. 2020 Fears of unintended consequences are valid, but animals like passenger pigeons and the dodo went extinct because of human irresponsibility—not some specific feature of their ecosystems or climates. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 19 Feb. 2021 With the negligent underfunding of New Orleans public schools, the school paper has gone the way of the dodo. Mark Karcher,, 8 Dec. 2020 On the island of Mauritius, a tree called the tambalacoque threw its lot in with the dodo, which went extinct more than three centuries ago. Barry Estabrook, WSJ, 9 Oct. 2020 Like the dodo, woolly mammoth and pterodactyl, all prior forms of human are extinct. Adrian Woolfson, WSJ, 2 Oct. 2020 But starting about 400 years ago, successive Dutch, French and British settlements butchered the natural habitat, leaving only 2 percent of its native vegetation intact and killing off the famous dodo. Khalil A. Cassimally, Scientific American, 21 Aug. 2020 People are eager to see the traditional political convention go the way of the dodo bird. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 20 Aug. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of dodo

1628, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for dodo

Portuguese doudo, from doudo silly, stupid

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Last Updated

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dodo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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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
US, informal + humorous : a stupid or silly person


do·​do | \ ˈdō-dō How to pronounce dodo (audio) \
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

More from Merriam-Webster on dodo

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dodo

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


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