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.
Raphus cucullatus, family Raphidae. See also solitaire (sense 4)
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.
(as) dead as a (or the) dodo
1informal Dead (used for emphasis).
- 1.1No longer effective, valid, or interesting.‘the campaign was as dead as a 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.’
- ‘What does he say now that the social entrepreneur scheme is as dead as a dodo?’
- ‘Underlying this evolution of a new journalistic hybrid is the conviction that traditional photojournalism, as practiced since the days of Matthew Brady, is as dead as the dodo.’
- ‘Dreams of a secular India, where the commanding heights of the economy are in the public sector, are as dead as a dodo.’
- ‘Thank God the idea of regional assemblies is now as dead as a dodo.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘It was a final flurry worth waiting for and made all the more remarkable after a dead as a dodo first half.’
- ‘In fact, the upstairs bar was as dead as a dodo, but the downstairs bar, facing the diners, was even more convenient.’
- ‘Besides far-fetched ideas like taxing everyone for authors rights, or technically blocking filesharing, or a major government crackdown on filesharing, the story is basically dead as a dodo.’
- ‘Also bear in mind that this region is as dead as a dodo at night.’
- 1.1No longer effective, valid, or interesting.
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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