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

  • n. Any of various warm-blooded, egg-laying, feathered vertebrates of the class Aves, having forelimbs modified to form wings.
  • n. Such an animal hunted as game.
  • n. Such an animal, especially a chicken or turkey, used as food: put the bird in the oven.
  • n. See clay pigeon.
  • n. Sports See shuttlecock.
  • n. Slang A rocket, guided missile, satellite, or airplane.
  • n. Slang A person, especially one who is odd or remarkable: a sly old bird.
  • n. Chiefly British Slang A young woman.
  • n. Slang A loud sound expressing disapproval; a raspberry.
  • n. Slang Discharge from employment: lost a big sale and nearly got the bird.
  • n. An obscene gesture of anger, defiance, or derision made by pointing or jabbing the middle finger upward.
  • intransitive v. To observe and identify birds in their natural surroundings.
  • intransitive v. To trap, shoot, or catch birds.
  • idiom for the birds Objectionable or worthless.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A member of the class of animals Aves in the phylum Chordata, characterized by being warm-blooded, having feathers and wings usually capable of flight, and laying eggs.
  • n. A girl or woman considered sexually attractive, as used by a man.
  • n. An airplane.
  • v. To observe or identify wild birds in their natural environment
  • v. To catch or shoot birds.
  • v. To seek for game or plunder; to thieve.
  • n. A prison sentence.
  • n. The vulgar hand gesture in which the middle finger is extended.
  • n. A penis.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Orig., a chicken; the young of a fowl; a young eaglet; a nestling; and hence, a feathered flying animal (see 2).
  • n. A warm-blooded, feathered vertebrate provided with wings. See Aves.
  • n. Specifically, among sportsmen, a game bird.
  • n. Fig.: A girl; a maiden.
  • intransitive v. To catch or shoot birds.
  • intransitive v. Hence: To seek for game or plunder; to thieve.
  • intransitive v. to watch birds, especially in their natural habitats, for enjoyment; to birdwatch.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To catch birds; go bird-shooting or fowling.
  • Hence To look for plunder; thieve.
  • n. The young of any fowl.
  • n. A feathered vertebrate animal of the class Aves, frequently included with reptiles in a superclass Sauropsida, but distinguished by having warm blood, by being covered with feathers, and by having the fore limbs so modified as to form wings. See Aves.
  • n. Any small feathered game, as a partridge, quail, snipe, or woodcock, as distinguished from water-fowl, etc.
  • n. In astronomy, a southern constellation. See Apus, 1.
  • n. A maiden; a girl; a young woman.
  • n. [In this, as in other modern instances, the word is archaic, and is probably associated with bird as a term of endearment.]

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

  • n. a cry or noise made to express displeasure or contempt
  • n. informal terms for a (young) woman
  • n. warm-blooded egg-laying vertebrates characterized by feathers and forelimbs modified as wings
  • n. badminton equipment consisting of a ball of cork or rubber with a crown of feathers
  • n. the flesh of a bird or fowl (wild or domestic) used as food
  • v. watch and study birds in their natural habitat


Middle English, from Old English brid, young bird.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old English bird, brid, bridd ("young bird, chick"), of uncertain origin and relation. (Wiktionary)
Originally Cockney rhyming slang, shortened from bird-lime for "time" (Wiktionary)
Dated in the mid‐18th Century; derived from the expression “to give the big bird”, as in “to hiss someone like a goose”. (Wiktionary)
From Malay burung ("bird / penis"). (Wiktionary)



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