Definition of ortolan in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈôrd(ə)lən/
(also ortolanbunting)


A small Eurasian songbird that was formerly eaten as a delicacy, the male having an olive-green head and yellow throat.
  • Emberizahortulana, family Emberizidae (subfamily Emberizinae).
Example sentences
  • The ortolan was so prized as a delicacy that it was almost hunted into extinction.
  • Dali was quite impressed, though he said he himself only ate ‘food with faces’ which meant fish and ortolans.
  • Like Otto's thin-crusted, griddle-cooked pizza, possibly the most controversial foodstuff to hit Gotham since Le Cirque's ortolans.


Early 16th century: from French, from Provençal, literally 'gardener', based on a diminutive of Latin hortus 'garden'.

Words that rhyme with ortolan


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: or·to·lan

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