Bittern
Bittern Bit"tern, n. [OE. bitoure, betore, bitter, fr. F. butor; of unknown origin.] (Zo["o]l.) A wading bird of the genus {Botaurus}, allied to the herons, of various species. [1913 Webster]

Note: The common European bittern is {Botaurus stellaris}. It makes, during the brooding season, a noise called by Dryden bumping, and by Goldsmith booming. The American bittern is {Botaurus lentiginosus}, and is also called {stake-driver} and {meadow hen}. See {Stake-driver}. [1913 Webster]

Note: The name is applied to other related birds, as the {least bittern} ({Ardetta exilis}), and the {sun bittern}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Synonyms:
, (Botaurus)


Look at other dictionaries:

  • bittern — heron like bird, 13c., botor, from O.Fr. butor bittern, perhaps from Gallo Romance *butitaurus, from L. butionem bittern + taurus bull (see STEER (Cf. steer) (n.)); according to Pliny, so called because of its booming voice, but this seems… …   Etymology dictionary

  • bittern — bittern1 [bit′ərn] n. pl. bitterns or bittern [ME bitor < OFr butor < VL * butitaurus < L butio, bittern (< echoic base * bu ) + taurus, small bird that imitates the lowing of oxen, lit., bull: see STEER1] any of a subfamily… …   English World dictionary

  • bittern — ► NOUN ▪ a marshbird of the heron family, noted for the male s deep booming call. ORIGIN Old French butor, from Latin butio bittern + taurus bull (because of its call) …   English terms dictionary

  • BITTERN — (Heron; Heb. אֲנָפָה, anafah), mentioned among the unclean birds (Lev. 11:19; Deut. 14:18) and referring to birds of the family Ardeidae which are aquatic and marsh birds. Various species occur in Israel such as the white heron (Egretta alba)… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Bittern — Bit tern, n. [From {Bitter}, a.] 1. The brine which remains in salt works after the salt is concreted, having a bitter taste from the chloride of magnesium which it contains. [1913 Webster] 2. A very bitter compound of quassia, cocculus Indicus,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bittern — Taxobox name = Bitterns image caption = Least Bittern regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves ordo = Ciconiiformes familia = Ardeidae subdivision ranks = Genera subdivision = Ixobrychus Billberg, 1828 Botaurus Stephens, 1819Bitterns… …   Wikipedia

  • bittern — bittern1 /bit euhrn/, n. 1. any of several tawny brown herons that inhabit reedy marshes, as Botaurus lentiginosus (American bittern), of North America, and B. stellaris, of Europe. 2. any of several small herons of the genus Ixobrychus, as I.… …   Universalium

  • bittern — [14] The Latin word for ‘bittern’ (a marsh bird) was būtiō, but by the time it reached Old French it had become butor. The discrepancy has been accounted for by proposing a Vulgar Latin intermediate *būtitaurus, literally ‘bittern bull’ (Latin… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • bittern — [14] The Latin word for ‘bittern’ (a marsh bird) was būtiō, but by the time it reached Old French it had become butor. The discrepancy has been accounted for by proposing a Vulgar Latin intermediate *būtitaurus, literally ‘bittern bull’ (Latin… …   Word origins

  • bittern — UK [ˈbɪtə(r)n] / US [ˈbɪtərn] noun [countable] Word forms bittern : singular bittern plural bitterns a bird that lives near water and makes a loud deep sound …   English dictionary

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