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secretary bird

noun
1.
a large, long-legged, raptorial bird, Sagittarius serpentarius, of Africa, that feeds on reptiles.
Origin of secretary bird
Sudanese Arabic
1790-1800
1790-1800; < French secrétaire, perhaps by folk etymology < Sudanese Arabic ṣagr al-ṭēr, equivalent to ṣagr hawk + al the + ṭēr birds (collective)
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for secretary bird
Historical Examples
  • The introduction of the secretary bird into the Antilles proved to be a real benefit.

    Reptiles and Birds Louis Figuier
  • I don't suppose he's gone in there to talk to the secretary bird!

  • Along the railway may be seen the secretary bird, guinea fowl and also handsome cranes.

  • A secretary bird stalking along looks as big as a man, and an ostrich attains the altitude of a church-steeple.

    The Young Yagers Mayne Reid
  • The reason the secretary bird is protected is because it is a bitter foe to snakes.

  • We began to form the nucleus of our small menagerie while still at Walmer; and one of our first acquisitions was a secretary bird.

  • This family comprehends but one single species, the secretary bird, which in its organisation seems allied to the Waders.

    Reptiles and Birds Louis Figuier
British Dictionary definitions for secretary bird

secretary bird

noun
1.
a large African long-legged diurnal bird of prey, Sagittarius serpentarius, having a crest and tail of long feathers and feeding chiefly on snakes: family Sagittariidae, order Falconiformes (hawks, falcons, etc)
Word Origin
C18: so called because its crest resembles a group of quill pens stuck behind the ear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Value for secretary

14
14
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