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[kas-uh-wer-ee] /ˈkæs əˌwɛr i/
noun, plural cassowaries.
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
Central Moluccan
1605-15; by uncertain mediation < Central Moluccan kasuwari, kasuwali Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cassowary
Historical Examples
  • To strangers whom cassowary has never loved and would now assault with spear and nulla-nulla, they apologise.

    Tropic Days E. J. Banfield
  • “The Barton Arms, cassowary,” he ordered, and they set off at a lively clip.

    The Madness of May Meredith Nicholson
  • There are upwards of 650 different species of birds, the largest being the emu, or Australian ostrich, and a species of cassowary.

  • In the cassowary the length of the large to the small intestine is 1:6.

  • The only bird I know above that height is the Paraguay cassowary; which, to be sure, is sometimes found in Brazil.

    Vivian Grey Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
  • Several years have elapsed since cassowary made his last canoe.

    Tropic Days E. J. Banfield
  • Many of the drums have engraved on each of their sides the representation of a cassowary (Fig. 4).

    Evolution in Art Alfred C. Haddon
  • It was real, and yet it came from a source almost as intangible as cassowary's ship.

    Tropic Days E. J. Banfield
  • At the head of the birds the cassowary or emu, stands conspicuous.

  • The cassowary resembles the ostrich in form, but is not so large.

British Dictionary definitions for cassowary


noun (pl) -waries
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 Casuariiformes See also ratite
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for cassowary

1610s, via French or Dutch, from Malay kasuari.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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