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

  • n. The European bison (Bison bonasus) having a smaller and higher head than the North American bison. Also called aurochs.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The European bison, Bison bonasus.

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

  • n. European bison having a smaller and higher head than the North American bison


German, from Middle High German, from Old High German wisunt.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From German Wisent. (Wiktionary)


  • Before Man came herds of wisent and mastodon kept the land mostly clear, and herds of white tail roamed.

    Fantastic Settings

  • Notable mammals include the reintroduced bison or wisent Bison bonasus (EN), wolf Canis lupus, lynx Felis lynx, otter Lutra lutra and European beaver Castor fiber, also reintroduced.

    Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, Belarus

  • The forest was declared a hunting reserve in 1541 for the protection of wisent.

    Bialowieza Forest, Poland

  • In 1929 a small herd of four wisents was bought by the Polish state from various zoological gardens and from the Western Caucasus (where the wisent was to become extinct just several years afterwards).

    Bialowieza Forest, Poland

  • The first recorded piece of legislation on the protection of the forest dates to 1538 when a document issued by Polish king Zygmunt Stary (Sigismund I Old) instituted the death penalty for poaching a wisent (European bison).

    Bialowieza Forest, Poland

  • European bison or wisent as they're known in Poland are distantly related to American bison and are different in that they are forest dwellers, rather than roaming the open prairie.

    Archive 2007-10-01

  • The short-horned kind, with its hump and shaggy mane, was also fairly common east of the mountains; it closely resembled the familiar wisent of Europe.

    A different flesh

  • Modern naturalists identify the elk with the eland, the wisent with the auerochs.

    Earth as Modified by Human Action, The~ Chapter 02 (historical)

  • Then slowe the dowghtie Sigfrid a wisent and an elk, he smote four stoute uroxen and a grim and sturdie schelk.

    Earth as Modified by Human Action, The~ Chapter 02 (historical)

  • Starting off on the wrong hoof: A Przewalski horse and a wisent become acquainted in the new wilderness preserve they will share outside Berlin.

    SFGate: Top News Stories


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  • "As I crept along through the gloom, past engravings of wisent and aurochs and woolly rhinos, it occurred to me that I really had no clue what would drive someone to wriggle through a pitch-black tunnel to cover the walls with images that only another, similarly driven soul would see."
    "Sleeping with the Enemy" by Elizabeth Kolbert, p 75 of the August 15th & 22nd, 2011 issue of the New Yorker

    August 31, 2011