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


Origin of bird

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

Related formsbird·less, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for kill two birds with one stone



nickname of (Charlie) Parker



any warm-blooded egg-laying vertebrate of the class Aves, characterized by a body covering of feathers and forelimbs modified as wings. Birds vary in size between the ostrich and the humming birdRelated adjectives: avian, ornithic
informal a person (usually preceded by a qualifying adjective, as in the phrases rare bird, odd bird, clever bird)
slang, mainly British a girl or young woman, esp one's girlfriend
slang prison or a term in prison (esp in the phrase do bird; shortened from birdlime, rhyming slang for time)
a bird in the hand something definite or certain
the bird has flown informal the person in question has fled or escaped
the birds and the bees euphemistic, or jocular sex and sexual reproduction
birds of a feather people with the same characteristics, ideas, interests, etc
get the bird informal
  1. to be fired or dismissed
  2. (esp of a public performer) to be hissed at, booed, or derided
give someone the bird informal to tell someone rudely to depart; scoff at; hiss
kill two birds with one stone to accomplish two things with one action
like a bird without resistance or difficulty
a little bird a (supposedly) unknown informanta little bird told me it was your birthday
for the birds or strictly for the birds informal deserving of disdain or contempt; not important
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 kill two birds with one stone
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for kill two birds with one stone



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.

Culture definitions for kill two birds with one stone

kill two birds with one stone

To accomplish two objectives with a single action: “If we can get gas and have lunch at the next rest stop, we will be killing two birds with one stone.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with kill two birds with one stone

kill two birds with one stone

Achieve two ends with a single effort, as in As long as I was in town on business, I thought I'd kill two birds and visit my uncle too. This expression is so well known that it is often shortened, as in the example. [c. 1600]


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.