- a large, two-toed, swift-footed flightless bird, Struthio camelus, indigenous to Africa and Arabia, domesticated for its plumage: the largest of living birds.
- (not used scientifically) a rhea.
- a person who attempts to ignore unpleasant facts or situations.
Origin of ostrich
Examples from the Web for ostrich
I never looked back after I was running, but I threw a rock and think I might have killed an ostrich.
The craziest thing I did was that I had to steal an ostrich egg from an ostrich farm that was close to Mexico.
The bags themselves were covetable items as ever, relying on highest-quality material: ostrich and crocodile.Anya Hindmarch and Stella McCartney Close London Fashion Week
September 17, 2013
Thigh-high leather boots… Gucci ostrich skin leather jackets… Horizontally striped posing briefs… More leather jackets...An Open Letter to Buzz Bissinger
March 27, 2013
Dropping my head low, ostrich style, was more likely to lead to a closer sniff of an armpit than to a clearer view of a work.Our ‘Crush’ on McQueen
August 3, 2011
He has the constitution of a rhinoceros, the digestion of an ostrich, and the concentration of an oyster.Little Dorrit
The possibilities of the ostrich are not properly recognised.
Nothing of this sort has been attempted with the ostrich, but much might be done.
But with such materials as he has, the ostrich does very well.
There is a deal of hidden interest about the ostrich's neck.
- a fast-running flightless African bird, Struthio camelus, that is the largest living bird, with stout two-toed feet and dark feathers, except on the naked head, neck, and legs: order StruthioniformesSee ratite Related adjective: struthious
- American ostrich another name for rhea
- a person who refuses to recognize the truth, reality, etc: a reference to the ostrich's supposed habit of burying its head in the sand
Word Origin and History for ostrich
early 13c., from Old French ostruce "ostrich" (Modern French autruche) and Medieval Latin ostrica, ostrigius, all from Vulgar Latin avis struthio, from Latin avis "bird" (see aviary) + Late Latin struthio "ostrich," from Greek strouthion "ostrich," from strouthos megale "big sparrow," perhaps from PIE *trozdo- "thrush" (see thrush (n.1)). The Greeks also knew the bird as strouthokamelos "camel-sparrow," for its long neck. Among its proverbial peculiarities are indiscriminate voracity (especially a habit of swallowing iron and stone to aid digestion), want of regard for its eggs, and a tendency to hide its head in the sand when pursued.
Like the Austridge, who hiding her little head, supposeth her great body obscured. [1623, recorded in OED]
Ostriches do put their heads in the sand, but ostrich farmers say they do this in search of something to eat.