rare bird

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Calque of Latin rara avis.


rare bird (plural rare birds)

  1. An unusual or exceptional person or thing.
    Synonym: rara avis
    • 2010, "Coming back to bite him", The Economist, 14 Oct 2010:
      This makes him a rare bird, for most Democrats running for re-election are staying mum or apologising for their votes for reform.
  2. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see rare,‎ bird.