os·​trich | \ ˈä-strich How to pronounce ostrich (audio) , ˈȯ- also -strij \

Definition of ostrich

1a : a swift-footed 2-toed flightless ratite bird (Struthio camelus) of Africa that is the largest of existing birds and often weighs 300 pounds (140 kilograms)
b : rhea
c : leather made from ostrich skin
2 [from the belief that the ostrich when pursued hides its head in the sand and believes itself to be unseen] : one who attempts to avoid danger or difficulty by refusing to face it

Other Words from ostrich

ostrichlike \ ˈä-​strich-​ˌlīk How to pronounce ostrich (audio) , ˈȯ-​ also  -​strij-​ \ adjective

Examples of ostrich in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And, for extra peace of mind, our renowned ostrich handler, Frank, will be standing by. Jason Siegel, The New Yorker, 23 July 2022 And yet America is doing its best ostrich impression. Abdul El-sayed, The New Republic, 21 July 2022 The restaurant's cuisine is refined and creative, with menu items such as ostrich seekh kebabs, jackfruit biryani and caviar served with naan blinis. Emma Balter, Chron, 1 July 2022 Amal stole the show with her white, sleeveless dress with a mock-turtle neck, patterned with silver squares and finished with an ostrich feather hemline. Aimée Lutkin, ELLE, 18 July 2022 The siblings both wore a traditional dark green robe and black velvet hat with white ostrich feathers. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, 30 June 2022 Dressed in their velvet robes and hats with an ostrich plume, Prince Charles and Prince William did the ceremonial walk to St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Simon Perry, PEOPLE.com, 13 June 2022 But the biggest stars of the party were arguably her flashy gifts from then-fling Ye (Kanye West): a mini ostrich-leather Hermès Birkin handbag for Ms. Fox and Birkins in other skins for four of her friends. Rory Satran, WSJ, 11 June 2022 The menu is diverse with interesting offerings including kangaroo, ostrich, as well as chicken and fish. Janet Carson, Arkansas Online, 8 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of ostrich

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for ostrich

Middle English, from Anglo-French ostriz, ostrige, from Vulgar Latin *avis struthio, from Latin avis bird + Late Latin struthio ostrich — more at struthious

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The first known use of ostrich was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near ostrich



ostrich fern

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Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ostrich.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ostrich. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for ostrich


os·​trich | \ ˈä-strich How to pronounce ostrich (audio) \

Kids Definition of ostrich

: a very large bird of Africa that often weighs as much as 300 pounds (140 kilograms) and runs very fast but cannot fly


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