- any of several large, chiefly terrestrial and ground-running birds of the family Otididae, of the Old World and Australia, related to the cranes.
Origin of bustard
1425–75; late Middle English, apparently blend of Middle French bistarde (Old Italian bistarda) and Middle French oustarde, both < Latin avis tarda (Pliny) literally, slow bird, though tarda may be a non-L word, taken erroneously as feminine of tardus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- any terrestrial bird of the family Otididae, inhabiting open regions of the Old World: order Gruiformes (cranes, rails, etc). They have long strong legs, a heavy body, a long neck, and speckled plumage
C15: from Old French bistarde, influenced by Old French oustarde, both from Latin avis tarda slow 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 bustard
large crane-like bird, mid-15c. (late 14c. as a surname), from Old French bistarde, said to be from Latin avis tarda, but the sense of this ("slow bird") is the opposite of the bird's behavior.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper