[ey-vee-uh n]


of or relating to birds.

Origin of avian

First recorded in 1865–70; avi- + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for avian

Contemporary Examples of avian

  • “Vicious pecking, avian hysteria, mysterious deaths, and even cannibalism” are the results, he writes.

  • You were commended after the avian flu pandemic for your ability to forge such close friendships with international leaders.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Meet America’s New Top Ebola Fighter

    Abby Haglage

    September 26, 2014

  • These men are like avian pied pipers" who lure problem birds out of the trees and "send them spiraling over the sloughs.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Great Weekend Reads

    The Daily Beast

    February 12, 2011

  • This is a worrisome phenomenon, especially as major health threats like avian and swine flu grow in importance.

    The Daily Beast logo
    U.S. Debunks Autism Myth

    Adam Winkler

    March 13, 2010

  • Now comes the perfect storm of avian, swine, and human flu, just in time for a national health plan.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Obama as Muhammad Ali

    Kathleen Parker

    April 29, 2009

Historical Examples of avian

British Dictionary definitions for avian



of, relating to, or resembling a bird

Word Origin for avian

C19: from Latin avis bird
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

Word Origin and History for avian

"pertaining to birds," 1870, from Latin avis "bird" (see aviary) + -an.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for avian




Of, relating to, or characteristic of birds.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for avian



Relating to birds.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.