Definition of dodo in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdōdō/

noun (plural dodos or dodoes)

1An extinct flightless bird with a stout body, stumpy wings, a large head, and a heavy hooked bill. It was found on Mauritius until the end of the 17th century.
Example sentences
  • The tam is thought to have evolved to survive passage through the gullet of the island's biggest, flightless bird, the dodo.
  • A giant flightless bird like the dodo is on the extreme end of avian evolution.
  • One of her donations to the museum is reputed to be the only egg in existence of the extinct, flightless dodo bird.
1.1 informal An old-fashioned and ineffective person or thing.


(as) dead as a (or the) dodo

informal Dead (used for emphasis).
1.1No longer effective, valid, or interesting: the campaign was as dead as a dodo
More example sentences
  • I feel full-blown £20,000-a-year constables are not going to be widely used on foot patrols because top brass officers think that type of policing is dead as the dodo.
  • While the League's television bid might now be as dead as a dodo, there are some vital facts that any future television deal-makers will find interesting to pore over.
  • Thank God the idea of regional assemblies is now as dead as a dodo.


Early 17th century: from Portuguese doudo 'simpleton' (because the bird had no fear of man and was easily killed). Compare with dotterel.

  • The dodo was a large, heavily built flightless bird found on Mauritius in the Indian Ocean until it was hunted to extinction, because, apparently, of its lack of fear of human beings. When sailors and colonists came to the island in the 16th and 17th centuries they discovered that it was very easy to catch and kill, a characteristic which gave it its name: dodo comes from Portuguese duodo, meaning ‘simpleton’. By the end of the 17th century the dodo had died out. Its fate prompted the expression as dead as a dodo, ‘completely dead or extinct’. See also dead

Words that rhyme with dodo

Komodo, Quasimodo

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: do·do

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