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flightless birds

flightless birds is a plural form of flightless bird

flightless bird


a flightless bird having flat breastbone lacking a keel for the attachment of flight muscles; such as an ostrich, cassowary, emu, moa, rhea, kiwi, or elephant bird


animal noun (animals and microorganisms)


flightless birds

Type of:

bird » vertebrate » chordate » animal

Original source:

Princeton WordNet


ratite | ratite bird

Definition references  (+images)


Flightless bird | Flightless birds

birds that lack the ability to fly. These species rely on running and/or swimming instead of flying, but evolved from flying ancestors. There are about forty species in existence today, the best known being the ostrich, emu, cassowary, rhea, kiwi, and ... (41 of 927 words, 7 images)

en​.wikipedia​.org​/wiki​/Flightless bird

Britannica Encyclopedia:

ratite [bird]

any bird whose sternum is smooth, or raftlike, because it lacks a keel to which flight muscles could be anchored. All species of ratites are thus ... (26 of 71 words, 1 image)


Columbia Encyclopedia:


common and general term for a variety of flightless birds characterized by a flat, raftlike sternum rather than the keeled sternum, designed to ... (23 of 334 words, pronunciation)


Collins Dictionary:


(of flightless birds) having a breastbone that lacks a keel for the attachment of flight muscles | of or denoting the flightless birds, formerly ... (23 of 231 words, 3 definitions, pronunciation)




a bird with a flat breastbone ; especially, any of various mostly flightless birds (as an ostrich, rhea, emu, moa, or kiwi) with small or rudimentary ... (26 of 75 words, pronunciation)


Oxford Dictionary:

ratite | carinate [near antonym, sense-specific]

[ornithology] : [birds] having a flat breastbone without a keel, and so unable to fly. | any of the mostly large, flightless birds with a ratite ... (25 of 73 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)


New World Dictionary:


designating a former group (Ratitae) of large, flightless birds of various ... | any bird with such a breastbone, as the cassowary, ostrich, or kiwi (24 of 60 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)


American Heritage Dictionary:


Relating to or being any of a group of flightless birds having a flat ... | A ratite bird, such as the ostrich or emu. (24 of 51 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)



ratite | ratites [plural]

A bird of the order of Struthioniformes, a diverse group of large running, flightless birds, mostly extinct, but including the cassowary, elephant bird, emu, kiwi, moa, ostrich, rhea and tinamou (30 of 31 words)


Random House Dictionary:


having a flat, unkeeled sternum, as an ostrich, cassowary, emu, or moa. | a bird having a ratite breastbone. (18 of 24 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)


Macmillan British Dictionary:

bird [countable] | birds [plural] | be strictly for the birds | a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush | the birds and the bees | birds of a feather flock together | do bird | give someone the bird

an animal covered in feathers, with two wings for flying and a hard pointed ... | [British, informal] a young woman. Some people find this word ... (25 of 195 words, 9 definitions, 2 usage examples, pronunciation)


Cambridge Dictionary:

bird [entry 1]

a creature with feathers and wings, usually able to fly (10 of 50 words, 6 usage examples, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/bird 1

bird [entry 2] | old bird

[dated] a particular type of person | [British, slang] a young woman | "old bird": [informal] an older woman (17 of 58 words, 3 definitions, 4 usage examples, pronunciations)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/bird 2

Encarta Dictionary:

ratite | ratites [plural]

a flightless bird such as an ostrich or emu that has a flat breastbone without the ridge-shaped part keel to which the flight muscles are attached in ... (27 of 59 words, pronunciation)

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861727292​/definition​.html  [offline]

Page last updated: 2013-06-26

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