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[buhz-erd] /ˈbʌz ərd/
any of several broad-winged, soaring hawks of the genus Buteo and allied genera, especially B. buteo, of Europe.
any of several New World vultures of the family Cathartidae, especially the turkey vulture.
Slang. a contemptible or cantankerous person (often preceded by old):
That old buzzard has lived in the same shack for twenty years.
Obsolete. senseless; stupid.
Origin of buzzard1
1250-1300; Middle English busard < Old French, variant of buisard, equivalent to buis(on) buzzard (< Latin būteōn-, stem of būteō kind of hawk) + -ard -ard
Related forms
buzzardlike, adjective
buzzardly, adjective, adverb


[buhz-erd] /ˈbʌz ərd/
noun, British Dialect
any of various nocturnal buzzing insects, as cockchafers.
1645-55; buzz1 + -ard Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for buzzard
Historical Examples
  • As a buzzard scents carrion, other cowboys anticipated sport, and a group soon gathered.

  • The jury had listened to the buzzard's harangue, with their eyes, not with their ears.

    The Underdog F. Hopkinson Smith
  • The buzzard is now so far away, sir, that Im not quite sure whether I can see her signal mast or not.

    The Motor Boat Club in Florida H. Irving Hancock
  • Pity they didn't get that buzzard and hang him, isn't it, sir?

    Mixed Faces Roy Norton
  • Never do the soaring vultures—elsewhere so characteristic of Spanish skies—catch ones eye, and very rarely an eagle or buzzard.

    Unexplored Spain Abel Chapman
  • Turkey buzzard put it on and strutted up and down the forest.

  • The truth of the matter was, as Mammy Susan used to say, Mabel would rather be a "king among buzzards than a buzzard among kings."

  • Well, they killed a wild turkey and a buzzard, the latter good for naught.

    Three Years on the Plains Edmund B. Tuttle
  • But the buzzard was not the only pet the priest had to look after.

  • The buzzard was outside the door making music on his violin.

    Fairy Tales from Brazil Elsie Spicer Eells
British Dictionary definitions for buzzard


any diurnal bird of prey of the genus Buteo, typically having broad wings and tail and a soaring flight: family Accipitridae (hawks, etc) Compare honey buzzard, turkey buzzard
a mean or cantankerous person
Word Origin
C13: from Old French buisard, variant of buison buzzard, from Latin būteō hawk, falcon
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for buzzard

c.1300, from Old French buisart "buzzard, harrier, inferior hawk," from buson, buison, from Latin buteonem (nominative buteo) a kind of hawk, perhaps with -art suffix for one that carries on some action or possesses some quality, with derogatory connotation (see -ard).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for buzzard



  1. A dislikable person, esp an old man: a stingy and predatory old buzzard (1600s+)
  2. The eagle worn as insignia by a colonel or a naval captain (1930s+ Armed forces)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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