1. a bird having a ratite breastbone.

Origin of ratite

1875–80; < Latin rat(is) raft + -ite2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ratite

Historical Examples of ratite

British Dictionary definitions for ratite


  1. (of flightless birds) having a breastbone that lacks a keel for the attachment of flight muscles
  2. of or denoting the flightless birds, formerly classified as a group (the Ratitae), that have a flat breastbone, feathers lacking vanes, and reduced wings
  1. 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