One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
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.
- ‘One of her donations to the museum is reputed to be the only egg in existence of the extinct, flightless dodo bird.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘The dodo species consisted of three flightless branches - the dodo of Mauritius, the solitaire of Reunion island, and the Rodriguez solitaire that lived on tiny Rodriguez island.’
- ‘First described by explorers around 1600, the dodo was extinct fewer than 80 years later.’
- 1.1informal An old-fashioned and ineffective person or thing.
Early 17th century: from Portuguese doudo ‘simpleton’ (because the bird had no fear of man and was easily killed). Compare with dotterel.
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