1 of 2


often attributive
archaic : the young of a feathered vertebrate
: any of a class (Aves) of warm-blooded vertebrates distinguished by having the body more or less completely covered with feathers and the forelimbs modified as wings
: a game bird
: fellow
: a peculiar person
chiefly British : girl
chiefly British
: a hissing or jeering sound expressive of disapproval
: dismissal from employment
: a thin piece of meat rolled up with stuffing and cooked
: a man-made object (such as an aircraft, rocket, or satellite) that resembles a bird especially by flying or being aloft
: an obscene gesture of contempt made by pointing the middle finger upward while keeping the other fingers down
usually used with the

called also finger

birdlike adjective

Illustration of bird

Illustration of bird
  • 1 crest
  • 2 crown
  • 3 bill
  • 4 throat
  • 5 auricular region
  • 6 breast
  • 7 scapulars
  • 8 abdomen
  • 9 tarsus
  • 10 upper wing coverts
  • 11 primaries
  • 12 secondaries
  • 13 rectrix
  • 14 tail


2 of 2


birded; birding; birds

intransitive verb

: to observe or identify wild birds in their habitats
for the birds

Example Sentences

Noun A large bird flew overhead. The birds were singing outside our window. He's a tough old bird. We met some smashing birds at the pub last night.
Recent Examples on the Web
The Roman chronicler Pliny the Elder believed the date palm to be the nesting site of the phoenix, the self-incinerating, self-resurrecting bird of myth. Matti Friedman, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 Dec. 2022 Atwood and Thorman stood near the release boxes Saturday and watched alongside onlookers as each bird took hesitant steps into the snow. Emily Mesner, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Nov. 2022 This setting by Balsam Hill combines an autumnal wreath with a bronze bird, plus plenty of other orange-and-red tones throughout. Helena Madden, ELLE Decor, 17 Nov. 2022 Whole bird turkey is up 16.7% for the month ended Oct. 30 compared with a year ago, according to IRI data, and bone-in ham is 11.2% higher over the same period. Jaewon Kang, WSJ, 16 Nov. 2022 Some are fired off by world leaders who incite violence and others by individuals who would be unknown private citizens, if not for their affinity for the bird app. WIRED, 16 Nov. 2022 The wayward bird was retrieved and back inside the kitchen, discretely replated. Emily Heil, Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2022 That’s a lot of tender, painstaking care for a bird which — at birth — can fit in the palm of your hand. Globe Columnist,, 16 Nov. 2022 Currently, the San Pedro watershed is a flyway for more than 400 species of birds, nearly half of the bird diversity recorded in all of North America, and an astonishing 90 species of mammals. Joan Meiners, The Arizona Republic, 16 Nov. 2022
Visitors will be able to bird watch as well as take a mile-long hike through the sanctuary, which will open to the public this fall. Arkansas Online, 18 July 2022 Birders can bird all weekend or just a few hours, Andersen said. Susan Dunne,, 8 May 2021 On Monday, a white woman named Amy Cooper went viral for threatening the life of a Black man, Christian Cooper (no relation), who was just trying to bird watch in Central Park in peace. Kathleen Newman-bremang,, 1 June 2020 Outdoor activities like trail running, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, birding, fishing, kayaking, traditional golf and disc golf are perfect for social distancing. Josh Woods, The Conversation, 22 May 2020 For a taste of nature, Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge, located on the north side of town, offers birding and wildlife viewing as well as miles of walking trails. David James, Anchorage Daily News, 9 Sep. 2015 Outdoor activities are still permitted, including bicycling, birding, boating, fishing, geocaching, hiking and hunting. Chris Sims, The Indianapolis Star, 15 May 2020 With many birding hotspots closed and organized outings canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, birders have been forced to hang up their binoculars. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, 24 Apr. 2020 The Piney Woods Wildlife Society coordinates birding field trips for its members, and meets the third Wednesday of most months at the Dennis Johnston Park Big Stone Lodge in Spring. Melanie Feuk, Houston Chronicle, 13 Mar. 2020 See More

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

Word History



Middle English brid, bird, from Old English bridd

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1917, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bird was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near bird

Cite this Entry

“Bird.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

bird 1 of 2


: any of a class of warm-blooded egg-laying vertebrate animals with the body covered with feathers and the forelimbs modified as wings
: individual sense 2, fellow
especially : a peculiar person


2 of 2


: to observe or identify wild birds in their natural environment
birder noun

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Larry (Joe) 1956–     American basketball player

More from Merriam-Webster on bird

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