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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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for old buzzard
Historical Examples
  • The old buzzard spied it, and cried: 'That's a gal's key that come down heah t' have me move her in a hurry las' Sunday.

    The Forged Note Oscar Micheaux
  • A child represents the "old buzzard," about whom the rest circle.

  • Better dead now than helpless in the morning, for what that old buzzard might want of me.

    The Killer Stewart Edward White
  • We can deal with that old buzzard as freely and as profitably as if we were in a cutthroat pawnshop.

    David Lannarck, Midget George S. Harney
  • And you've hankered after him so long,—go and take your chances, you old buzzard!'

    A Modern Instance William Dean Howells
  • The hen finishes by asking alone, "What o'clock is it, old buzzard?"

  • "The old buzzard's been at my alcohol bottle again," whispered Batty.

    Travelers Five Along Life's Highway Annie Fellows Johnston
  • Mrs. Randall, who wore much brighter clothes than her mother, was called by the latter an old buzzard.

    Linda Condon Joseph Hergesheimer
British Dictionary definitions for old 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 old 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 old 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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