Definitions

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

  • n. A fish-eating hawk (Pandion haliaetus) having plumage that is dark on the back and white below. Also called fish hawk.
  • n. A plume formerly used to trim women's hats.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A bird of prey (Pandion haliaetus) that feeds on fish and has white underparts and long, narrow wings each ending in four finger-like extensions.
  • n. aigrette (ornamental feather)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The fishhawk (Pandion haliaetus).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A diurnal bird of prey of the family Falconidæ and the genus Pandion; a fish-hawk.

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

  • n. large harmless hawk found worldwide that feeds on fish and builds a bulky nest often occupied for years

Etymologies

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

Middle English osprai, from Anglo-Norman ospreit, from Medieval Latin avis praedae, bird of prey : Latin avis, bird; + Latin praedae, genitive of praeda, booty, prey.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Late Middle English ospray from Latin ossifragus ("bone-breaker").

Examples

  • An eagle flew overhead, then a bird Alex said was called an osprey.

    Judge deveraux

  • The osprey is a cuter as well as a heavier bird, and, in the phrase of the blacks, “That fella carn let go!”

    My Tropic Isle

  • Yes, the osprey was a wonderful fisherman, who could snatch a fish from the water in his sure claws.

    Bird Stories

  • The osprey is a cuter as well as a heavier bird, and, in the phrase of the blacks, "That fella carn let go!"

    My Tropic Isle

  • Lucien informed them that the osprey is a bird common to both

    The Young Voyageurs Boy Hunters in the North

  • The osprey is a bird of the falcon tribe, and one of the largest of the genus -- measuring two feet from bill to tail, with an immense spread of wing in proportion, being nearly six feet from tip to tip.

    Popular Adventure Tales

  • Birds such as osprey Pandion haliaetus and peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus occur within the designated areas.

    Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaíno, Mexico

  • The site has a rich marine fauna and is a key site for species such as osprey and bearded vultures.

    Scandola Nature Reserve & Capes Girolata and Porto, France

  • Untroubled by these strange events, a young woman walks calmly towards the castle, a little further on, carrying a basket of eggs and butter on her head, and above her some new kind of osprey flies away with a protesting pike.

    The Story of Rouen

  • A few days after, another incident occurred to our voyageurs, which illustrated the habits of a very interesting bird, the "osprey," or fish-hawk, as it is more familiarly known in America.

    The Young Voyageurs Boy Hunters in the North

Comments

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  • Haha! I know people like that.

    October 21, 2008

  • Osprey in the news here.

    October 21, 2008

  • Heehee.

    January 15, 2008

  • Ford Prefect must have written that definition.

    January 15, 2008

  • See pandionine.

    January 14, 2008

  • Bizarre! Wonder how "harmless" made it in there?

    January 14, 2008

  • Weirdnet gets slightly encyclopaedic on this one. And harmless? Not if you're a fish.

    January 14, 2008