rara avis

noun
ra·​ra avis | \ ˌrer-ə-ˈā-vəs How to pronounce rara avis (audio) , ˌrär-ə-ˈä-wəs \
plural rara avises\ ˌrer-​ə-​ˈā-​və-​səz How to pronounce rara avis (audio) \ or rarae aves\ ˌrär-​ˌī-​ˈä-​ˌwās How to pronounce rara avis (audio) \

Definition of rara avis

: someone or something that is rare : rarity sense 2 Elizabeth Bishop was the anomaly, the rara avis, of her generation of poets …Harper's It is easy to see why Ms. Hacker's early work had such an impact; a rara avis in the swamp of free verse, she writes villanelles, sestinas and sonnets …— David Kirby And she has become that rara avis, a serious medievalist with a popular following.— Patrick J. Geary The Bob Dorough-Dave Frishberg concert at Kaye Playhouse on June 19 is sure to sell out, combining two comparable rarae aves—clever, storytelling jazz songwriters.— Ben Ratliff

Examples of rara avis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Sitting in the center, with a passenger seat to the left and right, the lucky driver will feel equally at home in the US, the UK or anywhere a long stretch of pavement invites this rara avis to soar. Robert Ross, Robb Report, 21 June 2021 Finding that rara avis of product design that combines pretty with practical is thrilling, and porcelain tile is both. Sarah Baird, Good Housekeeping, 14 Sep. 2020

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

First Known Use of rara avis

1607, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rara avis

Latin, rare bird

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About rara avis

Time Traveler for rara avis

Time Traveler

The first known use of rara avis was in 1607

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near rara avis

raquet organ

rara avis

rare

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for rara avis

Cite this Entry

“Rara avis.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rara%20avis. Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on rara avis

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rara avis

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!