Any of several long-legged shorebirds of the genus Recurvirostra, characterized by a long, slender, upturned beak.
[French avocette, from New Latin avocetta, misspelling of avosetta, from Italian, from Venetian, probably from Vulgar Latin *avis sitta : Latin avis, bird; see awi- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + Greek sittē, a kind of woodpecker or nuthatch (probably of onomatopoeic origin and imitative of the bird's sound).]
(click for a larger image)avocet
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.