• synonyms


[awr-tl-uh n]
  1. an Old World bunting, Emberiza hortulana, esteemed as a table delicacy.
  2. the bobolink.
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Origin of ortolan

1520–30; < French < Provençal: literally, gardener (i.e., frequenting gardens) < Latin hortulānus, equivalent to hortul(us) little garden (hort(us) garden + -ulus -ule) + -ānus -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ortolan

Historical Examples of ortolan

  • In the house they must be treated in the same manner as the ortolan.

    The Natural History of Cage Birds

    J. M. Bechstein

  • The Ortolan is not famed for its song, which is, however, soft and sweet.

  • There is, however, some consolation for the rarity of the Ortolan in England.

  • The reed-bird—in the West Indies called “ortolan”—is also found in the same markets with the canvas-back.

  • Ortolan (endorsed by Labbé) argues (work cited, p. 31) that populus plebsque no more implies separation than senatus populusque.

British Dictionary definitions for ortolan


  1. Also called: ortolan bunting a brownish Old World bunting, Emberiza hortulana, regarded as a delicacy
  2. any of various other small birds eaten as delicacies, esp the bobolink
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Word Origin for ortolan

C17: via French from Latin hortulānus, from hortulus, diminutive of hortus garden
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