bird

[ burd ]
/ bɜrd /
|

noun

verb (used without object)

to catch or shoot birds.
to bird-watch.

Nearby words

  1. birch tar oil,
  2. birchbark,
  3. birchbark biting,
  4. birchen,
  5. bircher,
  6. bird band,
  7. bird call,
  8. bird cherry,
  9. bird colonel,
  10. bird dismount

Idioms

Origin of bird

before 900; Middle English byrd, bryd, Old English brid(d) young bird, chick

Related formsbird·less, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for bird in the hand

Bird

/ (bɜːd) /

noun

nickname of (Charlie) Parker

bird

/ (bɜːd) /

noun

Derived Formsbirdlike, adjective

Word Origin for bird

Old English bridd, of unknown origin

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 bird in the hand
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for bird in the hand

bird

[ bûrd ]

Any of numerous warm-blooded, egg-laying vertebrate animals of the class Aves. Birds have wings for forelimbs, a body covered with feathers, a hard bill covering the jaw, and a four-chambered heart.

A Closer Look

It is generally believed that birds are descended from dinosaurs and probably evolved from them during the Jurassic Period. While most paleontologists believe that birds evolved from a small dinosaur called the theropod, which in turn evolved from the thecodont, a reptile from the Triassic Period, other paleontologists believe that birds and dinosaurs both evolved from the thecodont. There are some who even consider the bird to be an actual dinosaur. According to this view, the bird is an avian dinosaur, and the older dinosaur a nonavian dinosaur. Although there are variations of thought on the exact evolution of birds, the similarities between birds and dinosaurs are striking and undeniable. Small meat-eating dinosaurs and primitive birds share about twenty characteristics that neither group shares with any other kind of animal; these include tubular bones, the position of the pelvis, the shape of the shoulder blades, a wishbone-shaped collarbone, and the structure of the eggs. Dinosaurs had scales, and birds have modified scales-their feathers-and scaly feet. Some dinosaurs also may have had feathers; a recently discovered fossil of a small dinosaur indicates that it had a featherlike covering. In fact, some primitive fossil birds and small meat-eating dinosaurs are so similar that it is difficult to tell them apart based on their skeletons alone.

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

Idioms and Phrases with bird in the hand

bird in the hand

A benefit available now is more valuable than some possibly larger future benefit. For example, Bob thinks he might do better in a bigger firm, but his wife insists he should stay, saying a bird in the hand. This expression, which in full is A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, was an ancient Greek proverb. It was well known in English by about 1400 and has been repeated so frequently that it is often shortened.

bird

In addition to the idioms beginning with bird

  • bird has flown, the
  • bird in the hand
  • bird of passage
  • birds and the bees, the
  • birds of a feather (flock together)

also see:

  • catbird seat
  • early bird catches the worm
  • eat like a bird
  • for the birds
  • free as a bird
  • kill two birds with one stone
  • little bird told me
  • naked as a jaybird
  • rare bird
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.