"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[aw-strich, os-trich] /ˈɔ strɪtʃ, ˈɒs trɪtʃ/
a large, two-toed, swift-footed flightless bird, Struthio camelus, indigenous to Africa and Arabia, domesticated for its plumage: the largest of living birds.
(not used scientifically) a rhea.
a person who attempts to ignore unpleasant facts or situations.
Origin of ostrich
1175-1225; Middle English ostrice, ostriche < Old French ostrusce (compare French autruche) < Vulgar Latin *avistrūthius, for Latin avis bird + Late Latin strūthiō < Late Greek strouthíōn; see struthious
Related forms
ostrichlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ostrich
  • Unlike many other feather products, ostrich feathers are shed painlessly by the birds.
  • Jim's has thousands of imported canned goods, and meats ranging from ostrich to boar to rattlesnake.
  • Custom-made boots can be ordered, with fancier skins such as ostrich or lizard available for the more extravagant shopper.
  • There is no better place to study ostrich behavior than on the global warming and overpopulation blogs.
  • So, they hired this local ostrich farmer to build down the staircase so they could conduct routine excavation of the site.
  • There are cream-colored, mock ostrich-skin chairs and banquettes, and snowy cloths set with bone-colored plates.
  • He was happy to hear that the ostrich and the white crane in adjacent cages were also pets.
  • Though now he buys ostrich-leather shoes and wins elections, he knows what poverty and corruption mean.
  • The last thing to tell a headhunter is that you are considering a career change, such as organic farming or ostrich breeding.
  • One thing worth pointing out is that the longer they do their ostrich imitation, the more painful the adjustment process will be.
British Dictionary definitions for ostrich


noun (pl) -triches, -trich
a fast-running flightless African bird, Struthio camelus, that is the largest living bird, with stout two-toed feet and dark feathers, except on the naked head, neck, and legs: order Struthioniformes See ratite related adjective struthious
American ostrich, another name for rhea
a person who refuses to recognize the truth, reality, etc: a reference to the ostrich's supposed habit of burying its head in the sand
Word Origin
C13: from Old French ostrice, from Latin avis bird + Late Latin struthio ostrich, from Greek strouthion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for ostrich

early 13c., from Old French ostruce "ostrich" (Modern French autruche) and Medieval Latin ostrica, ostrigius, all from Vulgar Latin avis struthio, from Latin avis "bird" (see aviary) + Late Latin struthio "ostrich," from Greek strouthion "ostrich," from strouthos megale "big sparrow," perhaps from PIE *trozdo- "thrush" (see thrush (n.1)). The Greeks also knew the bird as strouthokamelos "camel-sparrow," for its long neck. Among its proverbial peculiarities are indiscriminate voracity (especially a habit of swallowing iron and stone to aid digestion), want of regard for its eggs, and a tendency to hide its head in the sand when pursued.

Like the Austridge, who hiding her little head, supposeth her great body obscured. [1623, recorded in OED]
Ostriches do put their heads in the sand, but ostrich farmers say they do this in search of something to eat.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ostrich in the Bible

(Lam. 4:3), the rendering of Hebrew pl. enim; so called from its greediness and gluttony. The allusion here is to the habit of the ostrich with reference to its eggs, which is thus described: "The outer layer of eggs is generally so ill covered that they are destroyed in quantities by jackals, wild-cats, etc., and that the natives carry them away, only taking care not to leave the marks of their footsteps, since, when the ostrich comes and finds that her nest is discovered, she crushes the whole brood, and builds a nest elsewhere." In Job 39:13 this word in the Authorized Version is the rendering of a Hebrew word (notsah) which means "feathers," as in the Revised Version. In the same verse the word "peacocks" of the Authorized Version is the rendering of the Hebrew pl. renanim, properly meaning "ostriches," as in the Revised Version. (See OWL ØT0002815 [1].)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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