or·​to·​lan | \ ˈȯr-tə-lən How to pronounce ortolan (audio) \

Definition of ortolan

: an Old World bunting (Emberiza hortulana) having a greenish-gray head and breast, streaky brown back and wings, and a yellow throat

Examples of ortolan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Anna and Steve hide their shame under a blanket, ortolan-style. Bethy Squires, Vulture, 14 Dec. 2021 Wags and Axe drown their sorrows by throwing napkins over their heads and eating ortolans prepared by Wylie Dufresne. refinery29.com, 30 Apr. 2018 Four species were in the worst trouble: the ortolan bunting, the ruff, the golden oriole and the greenfinch. James Gorman, New York Times, 11 Apr. 2018

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

First Known Use of ortolan

1656, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ortolan

French or Italian; French, from Italian ortolano, literally, gardener, from Latin hortulanus, from hortulus, diminutive of hortus garden — more at yard

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The first known use of ortolan was in 1656

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Cite this Entry

“Ortolan.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ortolan. Accessed 5 Oct. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on ortolan

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ortolan


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