American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Of or belonging to the subfamily Anserinae, which comprises the geese.
- adj. Of or resembling a goose; gooselike.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Relating to or resembling a goose, or the skin of a goose: sometimes applied to the skin when roughened by cold or disease (goose-flesh).
- Hence Stupid as a goose; foolish; silly.
- Specifically, in ornithology, resembling a goose or duck so closely as to be included in the family Anatidœ; being one of the Anatidœ. The anserine birds, technically, are not only geese and gooselike species, but swans, ducks, mergansers, etc.
- adj. zoology Being from the subfamily Anserinae of the family Anatidae.
- adj. Of, concerning, or resembling a goose or geese; gooselike.
- adj. Silly, foolish, stupid.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Pertaining to, or resembling, a goose, or the skin of a goose.
- adj. (Zoöl.) Pertaining to the Anseres.
- adj. of or resembling a goose
- adj. having or revealing stupidity
- From Latin anserīnus, from anser ("goose"). (Wiktionary)
- Latin ānserīnus, pertaining to geese, from ānser, goose; see ghans- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“To my knowledge,'anserine' is a perfectly respectable, albeit uncommon, adjective in our language.”
“And that one was the victim of anserine necrophilia.”
“It is all very easy for you, middle-aged reader, sitting over this page in the broad daylight, to call me by all manner of asinine and anserine unchristian names, because I had these fancies running through my head.”
“The gaff is blown, the anserine guard gives tongue with might and main.”
“We have "progressed" from the manly independence and fierce patriotism of our forebears to a namby-pamby foreign policy that compels our citizens abroad to seek protection of the consuls of other countries from the spirit that made our flag respected in every land and honored on every sea, to the anserine cackle of "jingoism" whenever an American manifests a love of country or professes a national pride.”
“You are the state's hired hand, Charlie boy -- duly employed to remain at Austin and display your anserine ignorance in the governor's office.”
“Uncle Sam would have supposed this simian hubbub and anserine to-do meant nothing less than a new epocha for the universe, it being undecided whether it should be auriferous or argentiferous -- an age of gold or a cycle of silver.”
“Since then he had respected her person, but to the day of his death he had cursed her for anserine stupidity.”
“One of their most charming bits of classic art is the famous miniature statue of the Gooseman; and the real name of the great Gutenberg, who, by his invention of printing, did more than any other mortal to make it easy for the human race to acquire the anserine mental habits, and the anserine moral characteristics, was Gänsfleisch!”
“Perhaps the village lights embarrassed them, or perhaps the constant changes in the face of the country, from the clearings then going on, introduced into the landscape features not according with the ideal map handed down in the anserine family, and thus deranged its traditional geography.”
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