American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Any of various owls with characteristic ear tufts that resemble horns.
- n. An owl of the genus Bubo native to the Americas, among the largest types of owls.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. (Zoöl.) a large North American owl (Bubo Virginianus), having a pair of elongated tufts of feathers on the head. Several distinct varieties are known; as, the Arctic, Western, dusky, and striped
horned owls, differing in color, and inhabiting different regions; -- called also great horned owl, horn owl, eagle owl, and cat owl. Sometimes also applied to the long-eared owl. See Eared owl, under Eared.
- n. large owls having prominent ear tufts
“PLINY (Caius Plinius Secundus, A.D. 61-before 115) informs us that on one occasion "a horned owl entered the very sanctuary of the Capitol; ... in consequence of which, Rome was purified on the nones of March in that year.”
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