a combining form meaning “bird,” used in the formation of compound words: ornithology.
Also, especially before a vowel, ornith-.

combining form representing Greek ornīth- (stem of órnīs) bird

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World English Dictionary
ornitho- or (before a vowel) ornith-
combining form
bird or birds: ornithology; ornithomancy; ornithopter; ornithoscopy; ornithosis
[from Greek ornis, ornith- bird]
ornith- or (before a vowel) ornith-
combining form
[from Greek ornis, ornith- bird]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

from Gk., comb. form of ornis (gen. ornithos) "bird" (but in Attic, generally "domestic fowl"), from PIE *or- "large bird" (see erne).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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