from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A predatory nocturnal bird (Tyto alba) having a white, heart-shaped face, buff-brown upper plumage, and pale underparts, often nesting in barns and other buildings. Also called monkey-faced owl.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An owl of the genus Tyto, often having a white face and commonly found in barns and other farm buildings.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. an owl of Europe and America (Aluco flammeus, or Strix flammea), which frequents barns and other buildings.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The common white owl, Strix flammea or Aluco flammeus: so called from being often found in barns, where it is useful as a destroyer of mice.
- n. plural The owls of the barn-owl type, genera Strix or Aluco and Phodilus, which differ so decidedly from all other owls that naturalists now consider them types of a distinct family. See owl and Aluconidæ.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. mottled buff and white owl often inhabiting barns and other structures; important in rodent control
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Aunt Petunia was just passing around a box of after-dinner mints when a huge barn owl swooped through the dining room window, dropped a letter on Mrs. Mason's head, and swooped out again.