or eyr·y

[air-ee, eer-ee]


or aer·y

[air-ee, eer-ee]
noun, plural aer·ies.
  1. the nest of a bird of prey, as an eagle or a hawk.
  2. a lofty nest of any large bird.
  3. a house, fortress, or the like, located high on a hill or mountain.
  4. an apartment or office on a high floor in a high-rise building: a penthouse aerie with a spectacular view.
  5. Obsolete. the brood in a nest, especially of a bird of prey.
Also eyrie, eyr·y.

Origin of aerie

1575–85; < Anglo-French, Old French airie, equivalent to aire (< Latin ager field, presumably “nest” in Vulgar Latin; see acre) + ie -y3; compare Medieval Latin aerea, aeria “aerie, brood” < Old French aire
Can be confusedaerie airyaerie eerie Erie
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for eyries

Historical Examples of eyries

  • The eagles have been dislodged from their eyries on Eagle Crag.

  • No, owls and impure birds do not make their nests in the eyries of eagles.

    The Adventurers

    Gustave Aimard

  • The birds went back to their eyries, and the troubled water was still.

    King Alfred's Viking

    Charles W. Whistler

  • Some of their eyries appeared absolutely inaccessible to any creature unendowed with wings.

    Unexplored Spain

    Abel Chapman

  • Flanked by sheer precipices, it was reached only by two narrow paths enfiladed by watch-towers, eyries, and batteries of boulders.

    The Inca Emerald

    Samuel Scoville

British Dictionary definitions for eyries


  1. a variant spelling (esp US) of eyrie



  1. the nest of an eagle or other bird of prey, built in a high inaccessible place
  2. the brood of a bird of prey, esp an eagle
  3. any high isolated position or place

Word Origin for eyrie

C16: from Medieval Latin airea, from Latin ārea open field, hence nest
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 eyries


see aerie.



"eagle's nest," 1580s (attested in Anglo-Latin from early 13c.), from Old French aire "nest," Medieval Latin area "nest of a bird of prey" (12c.), perhaps from Latin area "level ground, garden bed" [Littré], though some doubt this [Klein]. Another theory connects it to atrium. Formerly misspelled eyrie (1660s) on the mistaken assumption that it derived from Middle English ey "egg."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper