Definition of struthious
: of or relating to the ostriches and related birds
struthious was our Word of the Day on 07/09/2010. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
Struthious can be scientific and literal, or it can be figurative with the meaning "ostrich-like," as in our example sentence. The extended use suggests a tendency to bury one’s head in the sand like an ostrich. But do ostriches really do this? No - the bird’s habit of lying down and flattening its neck and head against the ground to escape detection gave rise to the misconception. The word struthious has been fully visible in English since the 18th century. "Ostrich" is much older. Anglo-French speakers created "ostriz" from Vulgar Latin avis struthio ("ostrich bird"); Middle English speakers made it "ostrich" in the 13th century. Scientists seeking a genus word for ostriches turned back to Latin, choosing "struthio."
Origin and Etymology of struthious
Late Latin struthio ostrich, irregular from Greek strouthos
First Known Use: 1773
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