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A South African ostrich (Struthio camelus australis)


From Middle English ostrich, ostriche, ostryche, ostrige, borrowed from Anglo-Norman ostrige and Old French ostruce, from Vulgar Latin *austruthio, from Latin avis (bird) + strūthiō (ostrich), from Ancient Greek στρουθίων (strouthíōn), or shortened from strūthiocamēlus, from Ancient Greek στρουθιοκάμηλος (strouthiokámēlos), from στρουθός (strouthós, sparrow) + κάμηλος (kámēlos, camel). Compare Spanish avestruz and Portuguese avestruz.



ostrich (plural ostriches)

  1. (ornithology) A large flightless bird of the genus Struthio.
    1. The most widespread species of the genus, known as the common ostrich (Struthio camelus).
    • 1834, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], Francesca Carrara. [], volume II, London: Richard Bentley, [], (successor to Henry Colburn), OCLC 630079698, page 17:
      "But is not this fortunate?" continued she, taking up a superb plume of white ostrich feathers, fastened by a small agraffe, enamelled so as to represent a bunch of violets; "this is just what you wanted for the velvet cap you are to wear at Madame de l'Hôpital's masked ball."
    • 2013 July 26, Nick Miroff, “Mexico gets a taste for eating insects [] ”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 7, page 32:
      The San Juan market is Mexico City's most famous deli of exotic meats, where an adventurous shopper can hunt down hard-to-find critters such as ostrich, wild boar and crocodile.
  2. (figuratively) One who buries one's head in the sand instead of acknowledging problems.
  3. (golf) The hypothetical completion of a hole five strokes under par (a quintuple birdie, quadruple eagle, triple albatross, or double condor).

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Borrowed from Anglo-Norman ostrige and continental Old French ostruce, from Vulgar Latin *austrūthiō.


  • IPA(key): /ˈɔstritʃ/, /ˈɔstridʒ/


ostrich (plural ostriches)

  1. ostrich (Struthio camelus)
  2. (rare) A goblet made of an ostrich egg.
  3. (rare, heraldry) A heraldic image of an ostrich.


  • English: ostrich
  • Scots: ostriche (obsolete)
  • Welsh: estrys