bird of paradise
n.pl. birds of paradise
1. Any of various birds of the family Paradisaeidae, native to northeast Australia, New Guinea, and adjacent islands, usually having brilliant plumage and long tail feathers in the male.
2. Any of several African plants of the genus Strelitzia, especially S. reginae, cultivated for their showy orange and blue flowers that emerge from a beak-shaped bract.
(click for a larger image)
(click for a larger image)bird of paradise
top: male lesser bird of paradise
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.