noun, plural os·preys.

Also called fish hawk. a large hawk, Pandion haliaetus, that feeds on fish.
a plume for trimming hats.

Origin of osprey

1425–75; late Middle English ospray(e) ≪ Latin ossifraga ossifrage; compare Middle French orfraie, offraie, Old French ospres
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for osprey

Contemporary Examples of osprey

Historical Examples of osprey

  • What was that she was sayin' about the spiders attackin' the Osprey?

    Loot of the Void

    Edwin K. Sloat

  • Like the osprey it takes refuge in darkness, and it would die if once seen.

  • It represented an osprey tugging a fish from some sea rocks.

    Practical Taxidermy

    Montagu Browne

  • Then Pirate got his instructions, and the Osprey went on her homeward way.

    Viking Boys

    Jessie Margaret Edmondston Saxby

  • It might be a whole week; and I need the Harrison boys and the Osprey, of course.

    Viking Boys

    Jessie Margaret Edmondston Saxby

British Dictionary definitions for osprey



a large broad-winged fish-eating diurnal bird of prey, Pandion haliaetus, with a dark back and whitish head and underparts: family PandioridaeOften called (US and Canadian): fish hawk
any of the feathers of various other birds, used esp as trimming for hats

Word Origin for osprey

C15: from Old French ospres, apparently from Latin ossifraga, literally: bone-breaker, from os bone + frangere to break
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 osprey

fishing hawk, mid-15c., from Anglo-French ospriet, from Medieval Latin avis prede "bird of prey," from Latin avis praedæ, a generic term apparently confused with this specific bird in Old French on its similarity to ossifrage.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper