American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various wading birds of the family Ardeidae, having a long neck, long legs, a long pointed bill, and usually white, gray, or bluish-gray plumage.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A long-legged, long-necked, long-billed, slender-bodied wading bird; any bird of the family Ardeidœ, but especially of the subfamily Ardeinœ. Herons, including egrets, bitterns, etc., have the bill cleft below the eyes, naked lores, scaly legs bare above the shank, long toes fitted for perching, a comb on the nail of the middle toe, ample rounded wings, and short tail; the plumage is loose, and often develops graceful flowing plumes, whence the name egret; a constant characteristic is the presence of two or more pairs of powder-down tracts, or patches of greasy pulviplumes. Herons are aquatic, and feed on fish and other creatures which they stalk for and capture by spearing with the sharp bill; they generally nest in trees, and lay two or three greenish, whole-colored, elliptical eggs. (See
heronry.) They are nearly cosmopolitan, and include numerous species of several modern genera, such as Ardea, Herodias, Nyctiardea, and Botaurus. The common heron of Europe is Ardea cinerea, represented in America by the great blue heron, A. herodias, 3½ to 4 feet long, and nearly 6 feet in expanse. The great white heron of Florida, A. occidentalis, is still larger; the goliath heron of Africa, A. goliath, is probably the largest of all. White herons or egrets are of medium and small size. Night-herons are smaller, and green herons among the least of all. Bitterns are herons of the subfamily Botaurinæ. Boat-billed herons form the subfamily Cancrominæ. See Ardeidæ, Herodiones, and cuts under Ardea, bittern and egret.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) Any wading bird of the genus Ardea and allied genera, of the family
Ardeidæ. The herons have a long, sharp bill, and long legs and toes, with the claw of the middle toe toothed. The common European heron (Ardea cinerea) is remarkable for its directly ascending flight, and was formerly hunted with the larger falcons.
- n. Greek mathematician and inventor who devised a way to determine the area of a triangle and who described various mechanical devices (first century)
- n. grey or white wading bird with long neck and long legs and (usually) long bill
- From Middle English heroun, heiron, from Anglo-Norman heiron, from Old Dutch heigero (compare Middle Dutch heiger), from Proto-Germanic *haigrô (compare Swedish häger), metathesis of *hraigrô (compare Old English hrāgra, Dutch reiger, German Reiher), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kreik-, *(s)kreig- (“to screech, creak”) (compare Welsh crëyr ("heron"), Ancient Greek κρίζω (krízō, "to creak, screech"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old French, of Germanic origin. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“To McEneaney, the heron was a sign — a communication from Eamon — like those dozens of relatives of Trade Center victims say they've received from loved ones.”
“If you are interested to hear PM Shaikh Hasina's meeting with the army officers ... here are the 3 links ... which is now blocked againby shameless Prime Minister, saying "contents subversive to the state." what a "chagol" as the Army officers called heron thisrecorded conversation between prime minister and army officers.”
“The speckled heron, which is nicknamed ‘the skulker’, is said in folklore stories to be of servile origin, and, as its nickname implies, it is the laziest bird of the three species.”
“The heron was a very special creature inasmuch as it was a solitary bird, quietly stalking its prey, which it speared with its long, curved serrated beak.”
“The heron is the best example of the rational use of a horn.”
““A heron is a lovely bird,” Grijpstra said, “and that heron was a beauty.””
“The heron was the incarnation of a war god on the island of Manono.”
“The heron is a frog-catcher, and he will stand very still on his long legs and patiently wait till the frog, thinking him gone, swims near.”
“For the bird was a heron, which is something like a stork that lives on chimneys in a country called Holland.”
“In England, although the heron is a native, we rarely seem to see him; while to study him is extremely difficult.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘heron’.
birds with singular names from
at least 9 English dictionaries
All words of the poem
by Gerard Nolst Trenité
Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse <...
Birds endemic to the United States and/or North America.
words wot i already knew
words that evoke magic, mystery, mayhem, magnificence or anything else that glimmers in the grass
Another news story about words being removed from a dictionary before their time. See also the list of words added to the dictionary.
Words and phrases from Jonathan Stroud's The Amulet of Samarkand.
Hopefully, I'll be using this site for more than one year. It will be fun then to look back and see what new words I found worthy of notice in any given year.
All words spotted in 2008...
When it comes to naming their subjects, ornithologists soar above all others!
Looking for tweets for heron.