Definition of ostrich in English:


Line breaks: os|trich
Pronunciation: /ˈɒstrɪtʃ


  • 1A flightless swift-running African bird with a long neck, long legs, and two toes on each foot. It is the largest living bird, with males reaching a height of up to 2.75 m.
    • Struthio camelus, the only member of the family Struthionidae
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    • Both of these bird families had reduced wings and could not fly, and looked something like living ratite birds - ostriches, emus, rheas, and so on.
    • He's not just talking about pigeons and sparrows either; kiwis, ostriches, penguins, and rare flightless parrots are just a handful of the exotic avians featured in this series.
    • Living relatives of moa include the emus, ostrich, and kiwi, which are members of a bird group called ratites.
  • 2A person who refuses to face reality or accept facts: don’t be an ostrich when it comes to security systems
    [from the popular belief that ostriches bury their heads in the sand if pursued]
    More example sentences
    • Despite the fervent hopes of many hard-working and well-meaning ostriches, the problem refuses to evaporate.
    • And, again, it's an ostrich attitude not to accept that and act accordingly, in my opinion.
    • Instead of behaving like ostriches, we should recognise the ground reality and legalise this profession.


Middle English: from Old French ostriche, from Latin avis 'bird' + late Latin struthio (from Greek strouthiōn 'ostrich', from strouthos 'sparrow or ostrich').

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