- a swift-running bird (Struthio camelus) of Africa and SW Asia, the only member of its order (Struthioniformes): it is the largest and most powerful of living birds, and has a long neck, very long legs with two toes on each foot, and small, useless wings: the white tail and wing feathers of the male are used in millinery and as trimming
Origin of ostrichfrom the erroneous belief that an ostrich buries its head in the sand when in danger a person who tries to avoid difficult or dangerous situations by refusing to confront them
Origin of ostrichOld French ostrusce ; from Vulgar Latin avistruthius ; from Classical Latin avis, bird + struthio, short for struthiocamelus, ostrich ; from Classical Greek strouthiokam?los ; from strouthos, sparrow + kam?los, camel
nounpl. ostrich or os·trich·es
- a. Either of two large, swift-running flightless birds (Struthio camelus or S. molybdophanes) of Africa, characterized by a long bare neck, small head, and two-toed feet. Ostriches are the largest living birds.b. A rhea.
- One who tries to avoid disagreeable situations by refusing to face them.
Origin of ostrichMiddle English, from Old French ostrusce, ostrice and Medieval Latin ostrica, both from Vulgar Latin *avis str&umacron;thi&omacron; : Latin avis, bird; see awi- in Indo-European roots + Late Latin str&umacron;thi&omacron;, ostrich; see struthious.
male ostrich, Struthio camelus,
guarding a nest