Definition of uropygium in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌyo͝orəˈpijēəm/


The rump of a bird, supporting the tail feathers.
Example sentences
  • The extent of white also on the uropygium varies much in individual examples, sometimes spreading down to the thighs.
  • The nape, shoulder, and upper surface of wings are also thickly strewn with white feathers; back and uropygium have likewise many white patches, but getting fewer towards the latter portion.



Example sentences
  • They use their bills to coat their feathers with oil from the uropygial gland.
  • Ovenbirds give off a unique musty odor that is thought to come from the oil in the uropygial gland.
  • The purpose of the current study was to test the importance of preen oil in Rock Doves by removing the uropygial gland and quantifying plumage condition over a period of several months.


Late 18th century: via medieval Latin from Greek ouropugion.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: u·ro·pyg·i·um

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.