One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A flightless swift-running African bird with a long neck, long legs, and two toes on each foot. It is the largest living bird, with males reaching an average height of 8 feet (2.5 m).
Struthio camelus, the only member of the family Struthionidae
- ‘The approach also provided accurate results for ostriches, emus, and rheas - the three living species that are most physically similar to terror birds today.’
- ‘He's not just talking about pigeons and sparrows either; kiwis, ostriches, penguins, and rare flightless parrots are just a handful of the exotic avians featured in this series.’
- ‘Uncut, it weighed 3,106 carats (approximately the size of an ostrich egg).’
- ‘The ostrich meat is mainly exported to the European Union countries.’
- ‘For example, wings are very complex anatomical structures specifically adapted for powered flight, yet ostriches have flightless wings.’
- ‘In red felt with black ostrich feathers, it came with a matching corsage.’
- ‘I couldn't wait to see what they'd make of riding an ostrich.’
- ‘Ornithomimids were a distinctive group of theropod dinosaurs who show a good example of convergent evolution with the ratite birds, such as ostriches.’
- ‘Unlike the similar-looking ostriches, the head, neck, and thighs of rheas are feathered.’
- ‘‘It is… important to discourage the interaction of wild birds with ostriches and free-range poultry,’ he said in a statement.’
- ‘There are only two kinds of animal that spend their whole lives performing the tricky balancing act of walking on two legs - humans and some flightless birds, like ostriches.’
- ‘Both of these bird families had reduced wings and could not fly, and looked something like living ratite birds - ostriches, emus, rheas, and so on.’
- ‘These include ostriches, macaws, toucans, flamingos, storks and cranes.’
- ‘"The quality of the meat coming from the ostrich farmers is good.’
- ‘Living relatives of moa include the emus, ostrich, and kiwi, which are members of a bird group called ratites.’
- ‘Meat products will include ostrich meat, as well as savoury pies and seafood.’
- ‘But I think I'll try the grilled ostrich steak with pepper sauce and salad.’
- ‘Compared with long-legged ostriches striding across a plain, waddling penguins come up short.’
- ‘Perhaps, like me, you have neither ostriches nor toucans in your neighborhood.’
- ‘The male ostrich has from two to six females in his flock.’
2A person who refuses to face reality or accept facts.
- ‘At some point, the regime will crack and then even the most determined ostriches will have to face the harsh realities.’
- ‘And, again, it's an ostrich attitude not to accept that and act accordingly, in my opinion.’
- ‘Despite the fervent hopes of many hard-working and well-meaning ostriches, the problem refuses to evaporate.’
- ‘Instead of behaving like ostriches, we should recognise the ground reality and legalise this profession.’
- ‘They are ostriches with their media heads in the sand.’
Middle English: from Old French ostriche, from Latin avis ‘bird’ + late Latin struthio (from Greek strouthiōn ‘ostrich’, from strouthos ‘sparrow or ostrich’).
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