kiwi

[kee-wee]
noun, plural ki·wis.
  1. any of several flightless, ratite birds of the genus Apteryx, of New Zealand, allied to the extinct moas.
  2. Also called Chinese gooseberry. the egg-sized, edible berry of the Chinese gooseberry, having fuzzy brownish skin and slightly tart green flesh.
  3. Slang.
    1. a member of an air service, as in World War I, who is confined to ground duty.
    2. a former pilot or member of a flight crew.
  4. Informal. a New Zealander.

Origin of kiwi

Borrowed into English from Maori around 1825–35
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British Dictionary definitions for kiwi

kiwi

noun plural kiwis
  1. any nocturnal flightless New Zealand bird of the genus Apteryx, having a long beak, stout legs, and weakly barbed feathers: order ApterygiformesSee ratite
  2. short for kiwi fruit
  3. informal a New Zealander

Word Origin for kiwi

C19: from Māori, of imitative 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 kiwi
n.

type of flightless bird, 1835, from Maori kiwi, said to be of imitative origin. As slang for "a New Zealander," it is attested from 1918. The kiwi fruit (Actinia chinesis), was so called in U.S. from c.1966 when it was imported there, but it is known in New Zealand as Chinese gooseberry (1925).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper