Definition of huia in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈhuːɪə/


An extinct New Zealand wattlebird with glossy black plumage, the female having a much longer and more curved bill than the male. The tail feathers were formerly prized by Maoris, and the last huia was seen in 1907.
  • Heteralocha acutirostris, family Callaeidae.
Example sentences
  • Ornithologists and naturalists, including the renowned nineteenth-century illustrator John Gould, originally classified male and female huias as two different species.
  • But since the huia was extinct, I had to search for years for another species that would enable me to investigate that hypothesis.
  • It is believed Smith was the last person to have seen the now-extinct huia, whose tail feathers were used by Maori chiefs as a symbol of their mana.


Mid 19th century: from Maori, imitative of its cry.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: huia

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.