from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, relating to, or characteristic of birds.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Characteristic of or pertaining to birds, or to bird-like or flying creatures.
  • n. A bird.
  • n. A bird-like or flying creature.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or instrument to birds.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of or pertaining to Aves, or birds; ornithic.
  • n. A member of the class Aves; a bird: as, “this ancient avian,” Coues.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. pertaining to or characteristic of birds


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

From Latin avis, bird; see awi- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin avis, bird + -ian


  • There†™ s even an avian from a gaseous tiny-giant.

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  • What we call avian flu, the virus that struck in Asia in 2003, is incredibly deadly but not too contagious; most of the people killed were those who had direct contact with animals.

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  • For avian-flu watchers, the pandemic of 1918 shows what a new outbreak could mean for the world, but a study published by the National Academy of Sciences suggests that it may also offer lessons on how to contain avian flu.

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  • Meanwhile, the other China remains uncooperative in avian flu surveillance. posted by sydney on

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  • (Except, of course, during quarantines in avian-flu season.)

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  • "However, additional abnormalities we discovered in avian flu patients — including fluid in the space surrounding the lungs, enlarged lymph nodes and cavities forming in the lung tissue-were absent in patients with SARS."


  • This is more than the latest in avian intelligence gathering.

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  • A scholar’s 31-year-experiment in avian learning had spectacular results

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  • In the studies, researchers created mutations in the H5N1 virus—known as avian influenza or bird flu—that made it highly transmissible between lab animals.

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  • Bird flu, also known as avian influenza, remains a threat primarily to poultry, but scientists warn that the H5N1 virus could mutate into a strain that could be transmitted between humans, resulting in a possible global pandemic.

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  • The definition says it's an adjective, but four of the first five examples show it being used as a noun.

    March 11, 2010