- A large marsh bird of the heron family, typically smaller than a heron, with brown streaked plumage. The larger kinds are noted for the deep booming call of the male in the breeding season.
More example sentences
- Genera Botaurus and Ixobrychus, family Ardeidae: several species, especially the American bittern (B. lentiginosus) and the least bittern (I. exilis)
- At Laurel Hill, you can spot waders such as herons, egrets, bitterns and glossy ibis, and predators such as ospreys, hawks, falcons and owls, with even the occasional bald eagle.
- The grey heron was anyway considered to be the best of a group of birds with similar lifestyles, to wit other herons and night herons, egrets, bitterns, and cormorants.
- The bittern, a brown heron, came close to dying out six years ago and conservationists feared there were only 11 ‘booming’ males left.
late Middle English bitore, from Old French butor, based on Latin butio 'bittern' + taurus 'bull' (because of its call). The -n was added in the 16th century, perhaps by association with hern, obsolete variant of heron.
- A concentrated solution of various salts remaining after the crystallization of salt from seawater.More example sentences
- This is curdled by calcium sulphate, or by a traditional curdling agent called nigari in Japan; this is bittern, the lye left over after the crystallization of salt from sea water.
- A combination of whey mineral and an alkali metal salt or bittern enhances the salty taste.
- A new process for recovery of Low Sodium Salt from bittern has been described in the present invention.
late 17th century: probably from the adjective bitter.