- any of several large flightless, ratite birds of the genus Casuarius, of Australia, New Guinea, and adjacent islands, characterized by a bony casque on the front of the head.
Origin of cassowary
1605–15; by uncertain mediation < Central Moluccan kasuwari, kasuwali
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for cassowary
In 1796 a mermaid was exhibited in Salem, and in 1800 a cassowary bird.
“The Barton Arms, Cassowary,” he ordered, and they set off at a lively clip.The Madness of May
In the Cassowary the length of the large to the small intestine is 1:6.The Anatomy of the Human Peritoneum and Abdominal Cavity
George. S. Huntington
But with the cassowary, the emu, or the apteryx matters are very different.Birds in Flight
W. P. Pycraft
Several years have elapsed since Cassowary made his last canoe.Tropic Days
E. J. Banfield
- any large flightless bird of the genus Casuarius, inhabiting forests in NE Australia, New Guinea, and adjacent islands, having a horny head crest, black plumage, and brightly coloured neck and wattles: order CasuariiformesSee also ratite
C17: from Malay kěsuari
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for cassowary
1610s, via French or Dutch, from Malay kasuari.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper