Definition of flightless in US English:



  • (of a bird or an insect) naturally unable to fly.

    • ‘Moas were ratites, flightless birds considered the sister group of all other birds.’
    • ‘Most of the birds classified in the Palaeognathae are also flightless, but not all flightless birds are classified in the Palaeognathae.’
    • ‘The flightless birds and insects of such islands had clearly lost a highly complex function.’
    • ‘Whether the flightless birds used their beaks to impale or bludgeon their prey is unknown, Chiappe says.’
    • ‘The kakapo, a flightless bird, was particularly vulnerable to predators.’
    • ‘For example, the cassowary (a large flightless bird) feeds on bright blue and red fruit.’
    • ‘Why do those flightless birds, unique to South America, seem to replace each other in adjoining regions?’
    • ‘The living ratites (ostriches, emus, kiwis, and the extinct moa) are an ancient lineage of flightless birds.’
    • ‘Thus spores and minute, winged insects stay suspended longer than seeds and large, flightless insects.’
    • ‘They acted more like huge flightless birds of prey, than the overgrown bipedal lizards of popular imagination.’
    • ‘The tam is thought to have evolved to survive passage through the gullet of the island's biggest, flightless bird, the dodo.’
    • ‘Caudipteryx has short forelimbs and a feathered manus and is likely to have been a secondarily flightless bird.’
    • ‘Cassowaries belong to a primitive group of mainly flightless birds called Palaeognathae.’
    • ‘Until the late Pleistocene era 11,000 to 50,000 years ago, big, exotic mammals and flightless birds roamed the planet.’
    • ‘Darwin didn't need to put his theories through contortions to account for flightless birds and cave fish.’
    • ‘Several people here have argued that Caudipteryx is in fact a flightless bird.’
    • ‘The large, flightless moa bird that roamed New Zealand in ancient times grew much more slowly than modern birds, according to a new study of their bones.’
    • ‘Penguins are flightless birds that are highly specialized for swimming and diving, and spend much of their life at sea.’
    • ‘Rheas are large flightless birds native to South America.’
    • ‘A giant flightless bird like the dodo is on the extreme end of avian evolution.’