hoa·​tzin | \ wä(t)-ˈsēn How to pronounce hoatzin (audio) \

Definition of hoatzin

: a crested large South American bird (Opisthocomos hoazin) with blue facial skin, red eyes, brown plumage marked with white above, and claws on the first and second digits of the wing when young

Illustration of hoatzin

Illustration of hoatzin

Examples of hoatzin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Chickens share the most DNA with the first bird ancestor, closely followed by hoatzin and emu. Sarah Lewin Frasier, Scientific American, 1 Apr. 2015

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

First Known Use of hoatzin

1661, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hoatzin

ultimately from Nahuatl huāctzin the laughing falcon (Herpetotheres cachinnans)

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The first known use of hoatzin was in 1661

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Cite this Entry

“Hoatzin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hoatzin. Accessed 5 Dec. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on hoatzin

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hoatzin


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