Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

The Best Internet Slang

ostrich

[aw-strich, os-trich] /ˈɔ strɪtʃ, ˈɒs trɪtʃ/
noun
1.
a large, two-toed, swift-footed flightless bird, Struthio camelus, indigenous to Africa and Arabia, domesticated for its plumage: the largest of living birds.
2.
(not used scientifically) a rhea.
3.
a person who attempts to ignore unpleasant facts or situations.
Origin of ostrich
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English ostrice, ostriche < Old French ostrusce (compare French autruche) < Vulgar Latin *avistrūthius, for Latin avis bird + Late Latin strūthiō < Late Greek strouthíōn; see struthious
Related forms
ostrichlike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for ostrich
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for ostrich

ostrich

/ˈɒstrɪtʃ/
noun (pl) -triches, -trich
1.
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 Struthioniformes See ratite related adjective struthious
2.
American ostrich, another name for rhea
3.
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
C13: from Old French ostrice, from Latin avis bird + Late Latin struthio ostrich, from Greek strouthion
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for ostrich
n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for ostrich

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for ostrich

12
12
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for ostrich