[ rat-ahyt ]
/ ˈræt aɪt /


having a flat, unkeeled sternum, as an ostrich, cassowary, emu, or moa.


a bird having a ratite breastbone.


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Origin of ratite

1875–80; < Latin rat(is) raft + -ite2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for ratite

British Dictionary definitions for ratite

/ (ˈrætaɪt) /


(of flightless birds) having a breastbone that lacks a keel for the attachment of flight muscles
of or denoting the flightless birds, formerly classified as a group (the Ratitae), that have a flat breastbone, feathers lacking vanes, and reduced wings


a bird, such as an ostrich, kiwi, or rhea, that belongs to this group; a flightless bird

Word Origin for ratite

C19: from Latin ratis raft
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