a large, black-and-white diving bird of prey of a family (Pandionidae) having only one species (Pandion haliaetus): it feeds mainly on fish
Origin of ospreyLate Middle English ospray, ultimately ; from Classical Latin ossifraga, osprey, literally , the bone-breaker ; from os, a bone (see ossify) + frangere, to break
- A fish-eating raptor (Pandion haliaetus) found almost worldwide, having plumage that is dark on the back and mostly white below. Also called fish hawk.
- A plume formerly used to trim women's hats.
Origin of ospreyMiddle English osprai, from Anglo-Norman ospreit, from Medieval Latin avis praedae, bird of prey : Latin avis, bird; see awi- in Indo-European roots + Latin praedae, genitive of praeda, booty, prey; see ghend- in Indo-European roots.
- A bird of prey (Pandion haliaetus) that feeds on fish and has white underparts and long, narrow wings each ending in four finger-like extensions.
- 1594, I will provide thee of a princely osprey. — Peele, Battle of Alcazar
- c. 1612-13: But (oh Jove!) your actions, / Soon as they move, as ospreys do the fish, / Subdue before they touch. — Shakespeare, Fletcher, Two Noble Kinsmen
- aigrette (ornamental feather)