Bison definition

bīsən, -zən
A bovine mammal (Bison bison) of western North America, having large forequarters, a shaggy mane, and a massive head with short curved horns; a buffalo.
noun
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A wild ox, Bison bonasus.
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A similar American animal, Bison bison else Bos americanus or Bisonte americano; also called a buffalo.
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A taxonomic genus within the subfamily Bovinae — the bisons.
pronoun
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A bovine mammal (Bison bonasus) of Europe, similar to the North American bison but with a somewhat smaller head and longer horns; a wisent.
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The flesh of the North American bison, used as food.
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Any of a genus (Bison) of bovid ruminants having a shaggy mane, short, curved horns, and a humped back, as the American buffalo (B. bison) or the wisent.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
bison
Plural:
bisons

Origin of bison

  • Latin bisōn of Germanic origin Old High German wisunt

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • Middle English bisontes (plural), from Old French bison, from Latin bisōn, bisōnt- (“wild ox”), from Proto-Germanic *wisundaz (“wild ox, aurochs”), from Proto-Indo-European *wisAn- (“aurochs, aurochs horn”), from Proto-Indo-European *weys- (“to flow, melt”). Akin to Old High German wisunt "bison" (German Wisent "bison"), Old English wesend, wusend "bison, buffalo, wild ox", Middle Dutch wēsent "wild ox".

    From Wiktionary