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[os-pree] /ˈɒs pri/
noun, plural ospreys.
Also called fish hawk. a large hawk, Pandion haliaetus, that feeds on fish.
a plume for trimming hats.
Origin of osprey
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English ospray(e) ≪ Latin ossifraga ossifrage; compare Middle French orfraie, offraie, Old French ospres Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for osprey
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What was that she was sayin' about the spiders attackin' the osprey?

    Loot of the Void Edwin K. Sloat
  • Like the osprey it takes refuge in darkness, and it would die if once seen.

    Napoleon the Little Victor Hugo
  • It represented an osprey tugging a fish from some sea rocks.

    Practical Taxidermy Montagu Browne
  • Then Pirate got his instructions, and the osprey went on her homeward way.

    Viking Boys

    Jessie Margaret Edmondston Saxby
  • "Why, there is the osprey coming up the voe," Signy called out.

    Viking Boys

    Jessie Margaret Edmondston Saxby
  • It might be a whole week; and I need the Harrison boys and the osprey, of course.

    Viking Boys

    Jessie Margaret Edmondston Saxby
British Dictionary definitions for osprey


/ˈɒsprɪ; -preɪ/
a large broad-winged fish-eating diurnal bird of prey, Pandion haliaetus, with a dark back and whitish head and underparts: family Pandioridae Often called (US and Canadian) fish hawk
any of the feathers of various other birds, used esp as trimming for hats
Word Origin
C15: from Old French ospres, apparently from Latin ossifraga, literally: bone-breaker, from os bone + frangere to break
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 osprey

fishing hawk, mid-15c., from Anglo-French ospriet, from Medieval Latin avis prede "bird of prey," from Latin avis praedæ, a generic term apparently confused with this specific bird in Old French on its similarity to ossifrage.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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