from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various large, long-legged Old World game birds of the family Otididae that nest on the ground and frequent dry grassy plains.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A large grallatorial bird of the family Otididœ, or of the genus Otis in a wide sense.
  • noun A name in Canada of the common wild goose, Bernicla canadensis, A. Newton.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) A bird of the genus Otis.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any of several large terrestrial birds of the family Otididae that inhabit dry open country and steppes in the Old World.

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

  • noun large heavy-bodied chiefly terrestrial game bird capable of powerful swift flight; classified with wading birds but frequents grassy steppes


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

[Middle English, from blend of Old French bistarde and Old French oustarde, both from Latin avis tarda : avis, bird; see awi- in Indo-European roots + tarda, feminine of tardus, slow.]



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  • Let some cry up woodcock or hare,

    Your bustards, your ducks, and your widgeons;

    But of all the gay birds in the air,

    Here’s a health to the Three Jolly Pigeons.

    Goldsmith, She Stoops, I

    January 8, 2007

  • The most inglorious of all the game birds.

    August 15, 2011