Any of various large, long-legged Old World game birds of the family Otididae that nest on the ground and frequent dry grassy plains.
[Middle English, from blend of Old French bistarde and Old French oustarde, both from Latin avis tarda : avis, bird; see awi- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + tarda, feminine of tardus, slow.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.