ostrich
ostrich os"trich ([o^]s"trich), n. [OE. ostriche, ostrice, OF. ostruche, ostruce, F. autruche, L. avis struthio; avis bird + struthio ostrich, fr. Gr. ?, fr. ? bird, sparrow. Cf. {Aviary}, {Struthious}.] [Formerly written also {estrich}.] (Zo["o]l.) A large bird of the genus {Struthio}, of which {Struthio camelus} of Africa is the best known species. It has long and very strong legs, adapted for rapid running; only two toes; a long neck, nearly bare of feathers; and short wings incapable of flight. The adult male is about eight feet high. [1913 Webster]

Note: The South African ostrich ({Struthio australis}) and the Asiatic ostrich are considered distinct species by some authors. Ostriches are now domesticated in South Africa in large numbers for the sake of their plumes. The body of the male is covered with elegant black plumose feathers, while the wings and tail furnish the most valuable white plumes. [1913 Webster]

{Ostrich farm}, a farm on which ostriches are bred for the sake of their feathers, oil, eggs, etc.

{Ostrich farming}, the occupation of breeding ostriches for the sake of their feathers, etc.

{Ostrich fern} (Bot.) a kind of fern ({Onoclea Struthiopteris}), the tall fronds of which grow in a circle from the rootstock. It is found in alluvial soil in Europe and North America. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • OSTRICH — OSTRICH, the largest of the birds. The ostrich, in its habits and bodily structure, has features similar to those of a camel (its Latin name is Strutio camelus). It was formerly commonly found in eastern Transjordan but by reason of being… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • ostrich — (n.) early 13c., from O.Fr. ostruce (Fr. autruche), from V.L. avis struthio, from L. avis bird (from PIE *awi bird ) + L.L. struthio ostrich, from Gk. strouthion ostrich, from strouthos megale big sparrow. The Greeks also knew the bird as… …   Etymology dictionary

  • ostrich — [äs′trich, ôs′trich] n. pl. ostriches or ostrich [OFr ostrusce < VL avistruthius < L avis, bird + struthio, short for struthiocamelus, ostrich < Gr strouthiokamēlos < strouthos, sparrow + kamēlos,CAMEL] 1. a swift running bird… …   English World dictionary

  • ostrich — ► NOUN 1) a large flightless swift running African bird with a long neck and long legs. 2) a person who refuses to accept unpleasant truths. [ORIGIN: from the popular belief that ostriches bury their heads in the sand if pursued.] ORIGIN Old… …   English terms dictionary

  • Östrich — Östrich, Marktflecken im nassauischen Amte Eltville, am Rhein u. der Rheingaubahn; guter Weinbau; 2000 Ew.; dabei Schloß u. Gut Reichartshausen, mit Gemäldesammlung …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Östrich — Östrich, 1) Flecken im preuß. Regbez. Wiesbaden, Rheingaukreis, am Rhein, im Rheingau und mit Station Ö. Winkel an der Staatsbahnlinie Hochheim a. M. Horchheim, hat eine kath. Kirche, Synagoge, Oberförsterei, viele Villen, starken Weinbau, eine… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Ostrich — For other uses, see Ostrich (disambiguation). Ostrich Temporal range: pleistocene–present …   Wikipedia

  • ostrich — ostrichlike, adj. /aw strich, os trich/, n. 1. a large, two toed, swift footed flightless bird, Struthio camelus, indigenous to Africa and Arabia, domesticated for its plumage: the largest of living birds. 2. (not used scientifically) a rhea. 3.… …   Universalium

  • ostrich — [13] Greek strouthós seems originally to have meant ‘sparrow’. Mégas strouthós ‘great sparrow’ – the understatement of the ancient world – was used for ‘ostrich’, and the ‘ostrich’ was also called strouthokámelos, because of its long camel like… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • ostrich — [13] Greek strouthós seems originally to have meant ‘sparrow’. Mégas strouthós ‘great sparrow’ – the understatement of the ancient world – was used for ‘ostrich’, and the ‘ostrich’ was also called strouthokámelos, because of its long camel like… …   Word origins

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