secretary bird
noun Etymology: probably from the resemblance of its crest to a bunch of quill pens stuck behind the ear Date: 1824 a large long-legged bird of prey (Sagittarius serpentarius of the family Sagittariidae) of sub-Saharan Africa that feeds largely on reptiles

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Secretary bird — Secretary Sec re*ta*ry, n.; pl. {Secretaries}. [F. secr[ e]taire (cf. Pr. secretari, Sp. & Pg. secretario, It. secretario, segretario) LL. secretarius, originally, a confidant, one intrusted with secrets, from L. secretum a secret. See {Secret},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • secretary bird — ► NOUN ▪ a slender long legged African bird of prey that feeds on snakes, having a crest likened to a quill pen stuck behind the ear …   English terms dictionary

  • secretary bird — n. [from the penlike feathers of its crest] a large, black and grayish blue African bird of prey (Sagittarius serpentarius), the only species in its family (Sagittariidae), with a long neck, long legs, and tufts of penlike feathers sticking out… …   English World dictionary

  • Secretary Bird — Taxobox name = Secretary Bird status = LC | status system = IUCN3.1 status ref =IUCN2006|assessors=BirdLife International|year=2004|id=49471|title=Sagittarius serpentarius|downloaded=8 May 2006 (database entry includes justification for least… …   Wikipedia

  • secretary bird — a large, long legged, raptorial bird, Sagittarius serpentarius, of Africa, that feeds on reptiles. [1790 1800; < F secrétaire, perh. by folk etym. < Sudanese Ar sagr al ter, equiv. to sagr hawk + al the + ter birds (collective)] * * * African… …   Universalium

  • secretary bird — noun large long legged African bird of prey that feeds on reptiles • Syn: ↑Sagittarius serpentarius • Hypernyms: ↑bird of prey, ↑raptor, ↑raptorial bird • Member Holonyms: ↑Sagittarius, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • secretary bird — sec′retary bird n. orn a large, long legged bird of prey, Sagittarius serpentarius, of Africa, that feeds on reptiles • Etymology: 1790–1800; < F secrétaire, perh. by folk etym. < Sudanese Ar ṣagr al ṭēr …   From formal English to slang

  • secretary bird — noun /ˈsɛkɹə,tɛɹɪ bɜːd/lang= A large bird of prey, Sagittarius serpentarius, native to Africa with very long legs, so named because of its crest of long feathers resembling quill pens stuck behind the ears of an office clerk. It preys on reptiles …   Wiktionary

  • secretary bird — n. large African bird of prey with long legs that eats mainly reptiles …   English contemporary dictionary

  • secretary bird — noun a slender long legged African bird of prey that feeds on snakes, having a crest likened to a quill pen stuck behind the ear. [Sagittarius serpentarius.] …   English new terms dictionary

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