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[thuhn-der-burd] /ˈθʌn dərˌbɜrd/
(in the mythology of some North American Indians) a huge, eaglelike bird capable of producing thunder, lightning, and rain.
Origin of thunderbird
First recorded in 1820-30; thunder + bird Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for thunderbird
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Most breeders name them things like Chainlightning and thunderbird.

    Thy Rocks and Rills Robert Ernest Gilbert
  • Some believed every storm to be a struggle between the God of Waters and the thunderbird.

    Legends of The Kaw Carrie de Voe
  • A very elaborate drill-socket; it is made of tulip wood, carved to represent the thunderbird.

    Boy Scouts Handbook Boy Scouts of America
  • When the fisherman returned to his house, people of the village told him of the thunderbird.

  • If we leave now we can get a real dinner at a Haitian place I know and then head over to the thunderbird.


    Cory Doctorow
  • A noise like thunder filled the air, a black shadow fell over her, and a thunderbird darted down upon her.

  • Spreading his wings like a black cloud in the sky, the thunderbird flew away to the northland.

British Dictionary definitions for thunderbird


a legendary bird that produces thunder, lightning, and rain according to the folk belief of several North American Indian peoples
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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