\ ˈī-bəs How to pronounce ibis (audio) \
plural ibis or ibises

Definition of ibis

: any of various chiefly tropical or subtropical wading birds (family Threskiornithidae) related to the herons but distinguished by a long slender downwardly curved bill

Illustration of ibis

Illustration of ibis

Examples of ibis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Archaeologists have discovered cats, ibis, hawks, snakes, crocodiles, dogs and numerous other mummified animals which were considered divine. Claire Bugos, Smithsonian Magazine, "Scientists ‘Digitally Unwrap’ Ancient Egyptian Animal Mummies," 22 Aug. 2020 During lockdown, rangers had also noted other species of birds that rarely appear at the popular tourist destination, such as Plegadis falcinellus, otherwise known as the Glossy ibis. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Record-Breaking 60,000 Flamingos Flock to Southern France," 13 Aug. 2020 The ibis pulls aside a curtain to reveal a man hidden in the shadows behind the scenes. Christine Fernando, The Indianapolis Star, "A lion, a tiger and a bear hold up a roof in this optical illusion in a Fishers mural," 11 July 2020 But on the other side is a blue bird, an ibis inspired by the head of Thoth, the ancient Egyptian god of magic, wisdom and truth. Christine Fernando, The Indianapolis Star, "A lion, a tiger and a bear hold up a roof in this optical illusion in a Fishers mural," 11 July 2020 The 233-square-mile reserve holds mangrove forest, saltwater estuaries and sand dunes — and about 400 species of birds, including snowy white ibis and brown pelicans. Dallas News, "The best off-the-beaten-path spots on the Yucatan Peninsula," 4 Mar. 2020 Last week, 10 white-rumped sandpipers, two pectoral sandpipers, two whimbrels, two glossy ibises, and four field sparrows were also spotted. BostonGlobe.com, "Bird sightings across the region," 11 Aug. 2019 The light and background colors were bright and the ibis was close. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "The 8 best wildlife photos from 2019 in California," 18 Jan. 2020 Among reports last week were a purple gallinule in Milton, a white-faced ibis at Sterling Peat in Sterling, and a Pacific-slope flycatcher in Hadley. BostonGlobe.com, "Most read on BostonGlobe.com," 28 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ibis.' 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 ibis

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ibis

Middle English, from Latin, from Greek, from Egyptian hbw

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Time Traveler for ibis

Time Traveler

The first known use of ibis was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

25 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ibis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ibis. Accessed 24 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for ibis


How to pronounce ibis (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ibis

: a tall bird that has long legs and a long bill that curves downward


\ ˈī-bəs How to pronounce ibis (audio) \
plural ibis or ibises

Kids Definition of ibis

: a tall bird related to the herons with long legs and a slender bill that curves down

More from Merriam-Webster on ibis

Nglish: Translation of ibis for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ibis

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