os·​prey | \ ˈä-sprē How to pronounce osprey (audio) , -ˌsprā How to pronounce osprey (audio) \
plural ospreys

Definition of osprey

1 : a large fish-eating hawk (Pandion haliaetus) with long wings that is dark brown above and mostly pure white below
2 : a feather trimming used for millinery

Illustration of osprey

Illustration of osprey

osprey 1

Examples of osprey in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Suddenly my yard was filed with bluebirds, Carolina wrens, titmice, and the occasional osprey. BostonGlobe.com, 8 July 2021 By June 7, the osprey was rebuilding its nest atop the platform. Jenny Berg, Star Tribune, 14 June 2021 Locals say the osprey nest has been there for five or six years, and Raul periodically checked on the birds. Los Angeles Times, 20 May 2021 Given a healthier environment and suitable places to nest, our osprey population recovered quickly. Jim Williams, Star Tribune, 18 May 2021 And would the osprey even want to return to this place? Alexander Aciman, The New Yorker, 5 Apr. 2021 During the Holiday Roundup from Dec. 24 to Dec. 31, guests can see Wyoming’s indigenous osprey, say hello to avalanche dogs, and even ski with Santa during daily, family-friendly events. Elizabeth Rhodes, Travel + Leisure, 30 Sep. 2020 Nearly 2,500 majestic bald eagles, 46 powerful peregrine falcons, 128 fish-loving osprey and more than 5,000 sharp-shinned hawks and have flown by this time around, as of Sept. 21. Kerri Westenberg, Star Tribune, 25 Sep. 2020 Terns and laughing gulls raced by, and a lone osprey with a fish in its claws soared overhead. Jordan Salama, New York Times, 10 Sep. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for osprey

Middle English ospray, from Anglo-French *osfraie, from Latin ossifraga, a bird of prey

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The first known use of osprey was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Osprey.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/osprey. Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for osprey



English Language Learners Definition of osprey

: a large bird that eats fish


os·​prey | \ ˈäs-prē How to pronounce osprey (audio) \
plural ospreys

Kids Definition of osprey

: a large hawk that feeds chiefly on fish

More from Merriam-Webster on osprey

Nglish: Translation of osprey for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about osprey


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