• synonyms


  1. any of several broad-winged, soaring hawks of the genus Buteo and allied genera, especially B. buteo, of Europe.
  2. any of several New World vultures of the family Cathartidae, especially the turkey vulture.
  3. Slang. a contemptible or cantankerous person (often preceded by old): That old buzzard has lived in the same shack for twenty years.
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  1. Obsolete. senseless; stupid.
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Origin of buzzard1

1250–1300; Middle English busard < Old French, variant of buisard, equivalent to buis(on) buzzard (< Latin būteōn-, stem of būteō kind of hawk) + -ard -ard
Related formsbuz·zard·like, adjectivebuz·zard·ly, adjective, adverb


noun British Dialect.
  1. any of various nocturnal buzzing insects, as cockchafers.
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Origin of buzzard2

First recorded in 1645–55; buzz1 + -ard
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for buzzard

Historical Examples

  • The jury had listened to the buzzard's harangue, with their eyes, not with their ears.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • Pity they didn't get that buzzard and hang him, isn't it, sir?

    Mixed Faces

    Roy Norton

  • Turkey Buzzard put it on and strutted up and down the forest.

  • Well, they killed a wild turkey and a buzzard, the latter good for naught.

  • We saw several porcupines, and an owl as large as a buzzard.

British Dictionary definitions for buzzard


  1. any diurnal bird of prey of the genus Buteo, typically having broad wings and tail and a soaring flight: family Accipitridae (hawks, etc)Compare honey buzzard, turkey buzzard
  2. a mean or cantankerous person
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Word Origin

C13: from Old French buisard, variant of buison buzzard, from Latin būteō hawk, falcon
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 buzzard


c.1300, from Old French buisart "buzzard, harrier, inferior hawk," from buson, buison, from Latin buteonem (nominative buteo) a kind of hawk, perhaps with -art suffix for one that carries on some action or possesses some quality, with derogatory connotation (see -ard).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper