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See also: Buzzard


Common buzzard, Buteo buteo, an Old World buzzard
American black vulture, Coragyps atratus


Borrowed from Anglo-Norman buisart, from Old French buison, buson (French buse), possibly from Latin buteō.



buzzard (plural buzzards)

  1. Any of several Old World birds of prey of the genus Buteo with broad wings and a broad tail.
  2. In North America, a general term for scavenging birds such as the American black vulture (Coragyps atratus), and the turkey vulture (Cathartes aura).
  3. (colloquial, derogatory, slang, often preceded by "old", the "old buzzard") A curmudgeonly or cantankerous man; an old person; a mean, greedy person.
  4. (archaic) A blockhead; a dunce.
    • 1640, George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum; or, Outlandish Proverbs, Sentences, etc., in The Remains of that Sweet Singer of the Temple George Herbert, London: Pickering, 1841, p. 142,[1]
      An old man’s shadow is better than a young buzzard’s sword.
    • 1774, Oliver Goldsmith, Animated Nature, Volume 6, Index,[2]
      It is common, to a proverb, to call one who can not be taught, or who continues obstinately ignorant, a buzzard.


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