- Also called American bison, American buffalo. a North American, oxlike ruminant, Bison bison, having a large head and high, humped shoulders: formerly common in North America, its small remaining population in isolated western areas of the U.S. and Canada is now protected.
- Also called wisent. a related animal, Bison bonasus, of Europe, less shaggy and slightly larger than the American bison: now greatly reduced in number.
Origin of bison
Examples from the Web for bison
This means a decline in habitat quality for grazers like bison and elk, whose winter-killed carcasses grizzlies feed upon.
Some bison die during the violence of the rut in August; there is intense competition by bears for these rare summer carcasses.
Some of those 900 bison might have perished naturally during the killing cold of winter and provided spring food for grizzlies.
I did once see a pack of wolves try to bring down a bison at decade or so ago.
Take the case of the American bison: The ice-age bison evolved into the Plains buffalo, Bison bison, perhaps 10,000 years ago.
Harold came round the corner like a bison pursued by Indians.The Golden Age
"Well, I should say so," murmured Bison Billiam, a bit amazed at all this ceremony.
Bison Billiam was made the permanent arbitrator of the wing question.
"It won't do; it won't do at all," said Bison Billiam, in a tone almost of discouragement.
"I'll be back in the morning," said Bison Billiam as he mounted his horse.
- Also called: American bison, buffalo a member of the cattle tribe, Bison bison, formerly widely distributed over the prairies of W North America but now confined to reserves and parks, with a massive head, shaggy forequarters, and a humped back
- Also called: wisent, European bison a closely related and similar animal, Bison bonasus, formerly widespread in Europe
Word Origin and History for bison
c.1600, from French bison (15c.), from Latin bison "wild ox," borrowed from Proto-Germanic *wisand- "aurochs" (cf. Old Norse visundr, Old High German wisunt "bison," Old English/Middle English wesend, which is not attested after c.1400). Possibly ultimately of Baltic or Slavic origin, and meaning "the stinking animal," in reference to its scent while rutting (see weasel). A European wild ox formerly widespread on the continent, including the British Isles, now surviving on forest reserves in Lithuania. Applied 1690s to the North American species commonly mis-called a buffalo.